Japanese Lilac

(Question)

I bought a Japanese Lilac Tree ( Ivory Silk) in 2012. Each year it has a had a few lilacs but this year it has not had any. The leaves look healthy and it has got bigger but I don’t understand why it doesn’t produce lilacs. It is planted in our back yard which is small and it faces north it gets lots of sun.

Thank you in advance,
Kathy

 

(Answer)

 

The Japanese Lilac Tree Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’ is a wonderful tree introduced by Sheridan Nurseries in 1973. It is a compact tree hardy to Zone 3 and usually flowers in June. Flowering can be affected by many different things. If the tree is over-fertilized, or showing sign of being unhealthy in some way, flowering may be inhibited. If the tree is planted in a shady area, or in an area that is too wet, flowering may be affected. Japanese Lilac would prefer full sun (at least 6 hours of sun) and good drainage. If you have heavy clay soil then drainage problems could develop. Pruning at the wrong time, which would remove flower buds could also be the problem. Most early flowering trees and shrubs will bloom on last year’s growth so any pruning should be done just after bloom to allow time for next years blooms to develop. Since the flower buds are formed the previous year and have to overwinter they could also be damaged by the past severe winter and the long, very cold late spring that we had this year.

You might like to take a look at the following websites that describe the growing conditions and other pests and diseases to watch for:

 http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/tree_fact_sheets/syrretb.pdf

 http://urbanext.illinois.edu/treeselector/detail_plant.cfm?PlantID=272

 If your tree looks healthy and has grown since you planted it than that is encouraging. I hope that your Japanese Lilac will continue to put on growth this year and produce a lot of blooms next year! Good luck.