Miss Kim Dwarf Lilac, flower buds are drying out


Hello, I am located in Toronto and I’ve just transplanted a Miss Kim Dwarf lilac into the garden. I have been watering the plant daily since transplanting. Initially a few days after transplanting the plant into the garden, the flowers on the plant slowly bloomed however the flowers turns yellow and dries out after 2 days. The rest of the blooms on the plant have not flowered and instead they “dried” up. The soil initally was very sandy, we’ve added some compost to it prior to transplanting. The rest of the plant is lush green. I am wondering why the flowers are not blooming and why are they drying up. Is it a sign that it is not getting enough water?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners for advice on your Miss Kim Dwarf Lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘Miss Kim’).    Nothing beats the fragrance of these blooms!   These dwarf trees are very adaptable to most well-drained soils and they thrive in full sun (at least 6 hours a day).  The fact that the leaves of Miss Kim lilacs are also mildew resistant is an added bonus.

Spring is the best time to transplant lilacs, after the blooming period and before hot summer weather arrives.   There is less stress on the lilac’s reserves at this time of year.  Trees can lose a significant amount of their root system when transplanted so need time to recover and regrow.  I suspect your lilac is focusing its resources on nourishing its roots and foliage.  As a result, water and nutrients are not reaching the blooms causing them to wither and die.

I’m glad to hear that you are watering frequently and the foliage being “lush green” is a good sign that you’ve minimized the transplant shock. Continue to keep the soil moist, not wet, for the next few weeks to help the roots re-establish themselves.    Continue to amend your soil yearly by adding organic matter (compost, leaves, aged manure, etc.) to the top of the soil

Note that transplanting your lilac may also impact the blooms next spring.   This is common for all lilacs.  You may see fewer blooms or even none at all.  Don’t be discouraged as the following year your Syringa meyeri ‘Miss Kim’ should be covered in beautiful, fragrant blooms.