Lilac Bushes - Pruning Summer or Fall?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2012
Lilac Bushes - Pruning Summer or Fall?
Sat, 04-28-2012 - 4:11pm

I have a large lilac bush near our front door. It is in full bloom right now, but it's straggly and needs love.

I just watched a GREAT short video on YouTube on how to prune a lilac bush.

The woman said:

  1. Trim no more than 1/3 back per year
  2. Trim after Spring Bloom
  3. Trim in Autumn

So which is it? Do I wait til the Autumn to prune this bush? If it's a Spring blooming plant,can I not prune it back in summer, when it is no longer blooming? Or does Spring Bloom mean it starts in Spring and blooms all summer long?

My particular plant is about 6-7 ft tall, and as straggly as you can imagine ;o)

Thanks, Andrea

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Sat, 04-28-2012 - 5:05pm

They do love to be confusing, don't they?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2012
Sun, 04-29-2012 - 11:32am
Thanks, that's what I thought.

Our family also had a shrub which we moved when we moved our house (this was when I was growing up). One of my grandparents came from overseas and planted a tree as well (red maple) and when we moved, we planted a new one at the new house. It grew huge, and everyone loved it. Then it got hit by lightning and it`s no longer there. Ever since it came down, my parents have been house hunting. Go figure ;o)