Lilac bushes

I don't know why but my lilac flowers are so bad the last few years, I pruned them and they were a little better.One person told me to get a fertlizer stick a pound it down in the roots..Anyone know much about them.I live in wisconsin
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Can't say I know much about them but they grow in Albuquerque (zone 7) really well. We have maybe 10-12 in the yard as does the neighbor. They do nothing with theirs, not even water them. I water mine and dump the bagged fertilizer on them annually and they seem to like it. I'm about to try some fireplace ashes on one to see what happens. Other than that we do nothing to them, just let them be & enjoy their aroma when they bloom.
Romy Beeck wrote:

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Greetings
Putting fireplace ashes on your lilacs may or may not be a good idea. It is about the same as putting lime on them. IMHO if the lilacs are doing good with your fertilizer program don't use the wood ashes. Pruning the lilacs. The flowers come from buds on last years growth. So if you prune them, do it right after the plant blooms. If pruned in the fall you would cut of all of the buds for spring flowering. See http://spi8m.com//products.htm they have an excellent lilac how to section.
Gary
"Grandpa" <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message

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Sorry, the formatting has gone to blazes, but a somewhat irreverant juxtaposition of some stanzas from T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land' might suggest a solution. No, Im not serious.
The Waste Land
"Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Sibulla ti qeleiz; respondebat illa: apoqanein qelw."
For Ezra Pound il miglior fabbro.
I. The Burial of the Dead      April is the cruelest month, breeding     Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing     Memory and desire, stirring     Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee ................................................ There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: 'Stetson! 'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!     'That corpse you planted last year in your garden, 'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?     'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?     'O keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men, 'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!     'You! Hypocrite lecteur!-mon senblable,-mon frθre!'

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Grandpa <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message

Do they lack potassium?
J. Del Col
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J. Del Col wrote:

No idea, I just though I'd give the ashes a try and see what happens, although our soil is quite alkaline,as is our water<sigh>.
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There are many reasons that lilacs may not bloom. Lack of fertilizer is not usually one of them. See this article: http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Trees/Shrubs/lilacs.htm sed5555
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as others said. prune while in bloom (bring in the flowers) or right after they are done. I trim off all the spend panicles as well so they dont waste energy on seed cases. I am in Milwaukee. Ingrid

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Probably the biggest issue with non-blooming lilacs involves pruning at the wrong time -- it's a common mistake. To say the least, you do NOT want to prune lilacs back in late autumn or early spring -- they bloom on the previous year's growth so you might just be cutting off the soon-to-bloom stems. Instead, prune after the bloom period.
Fertilizing can be helpful but before you fertilize you need to ask yourself -- WHY am I fertilizing? Is the pH off, does the soil lack certain essential nutrients? The way to get the answer to this question is simple -- a soil test. This will let you know where your soil may have deficiencies. The solution is frequently to amend the soil with fertilizers or organic material/compost -- whichever you fancy.
If you find the pH is off (another common problem) you may want to simply add ash from burned wood. Be certain that the wood you burn is not chemically treated or otherwise contaminated -- chemicals have a nasty habit of sticking around even after burning. We've found that our soil is a bit acidic and over the last couple of years we've added a decent amount of lime to the soil in an effort to balance the pH a bit. This has been very effective and I have a great cool-weather lawn growing right now. My lilacs are somewhat separated from the rest of the plantings by virtue of their beds, so in their case I added ashes from our cookouts (campfire style -- NEVER use charcoal ashes) and they liked it lots. :)
FWIW, HTH....
James
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I've had very good luck with adding liberal amounts of composted cow manure and bone meal in the fall, along with a generous layer of mulch and watering deeply. As others have suggested, deadheading the spent blooms, as well as cutting out a third of the very oldest large canes, works wonders.
Dave

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