Propagating lilacs

GottaGo

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My lilac shrubs are old, scraggly and in competition with leylands of 23 years (before I knew better) plus Cedar trees. They are currently blooming and the scent is magical to me.

I've seen some growth at the base, but because of the dead bramble below, it's difficult to reach for me (I don't have a chiro on retainer lol) so I was hoping to do tip cuttings after the blooms are done.

I'm looking for hints and tips for this to be successful.

This year's bloom
 

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flowerbug

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the only thing i have heard of to recondition a lilac planting is to cut back to the ground 1/3 of the stand each season and that will encourage new growth from the roots. i've never tried any rooting of cuttings because, well, the sap and plants are really toxic to me and i really don't need any more than the one bush we have... :)

i think reading up on any woody cutting rooting techniques should be good enough for you to have some success if combined with some rooting hormones and plenty of cuttings.

good luck! :)
 

GottaGo

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the only thing i have heard of to recondition a lilac planting is to cut back to the ground 1/3 of the stand each season and that will encourage new growth from the roots. i've never tried any rooting of cuttings because, well, the sap and plants are really toxic to me and i really don't need any more than the one bush we have... :)

i think reading up on any woody cutting rooting techniques should be good enough for you to have some success if combined with some rooting hormones and plenty of cuttings.

good luck! :)
I fell waaaaay behind on pruning after flowering when corporate life had me working 6 days a week. The competition with the lelands makes me wonder if they are worth salvaging. Thus, propagation.

Multiple cuttings and rooting hormone, check!
 

Phaedra

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My lilac shrubs are old, scraggly and in competition with leylands of 23 years (before I knew better) plus Cedar trees. They are currently blooming and the scent is magical to me.

I've seen some growth at the base, but because of the dead bramble below, it's difficult to reach for me (I don't have a chiro on retainer lol) so I was hoping to do tip cuttings after the blooms are done.

I'm looking for hints and tips for this to be successful.

This year's bloom
I am not familiar with tip cuttings and didn't try one yet. However, if the shrubs are already old, it's very likely you would find basal shoots with independent roots nearby. I found two in 2022, cut and transplanted them in the deep pots for one year. Last year, both got transplanted to the new locations and did well. Detaching a basal shoot with roots is the quickest propagation option for me. I've tried this for raspberry and beach rose (Rosa rugosa).

The tiny but energetic one
18097.jpg

And the bigger one - I could expect flowers next spring, I guess.
18096.jpg


To take some photos, I found another independent basal shoot - not attached to the main bush, instead, it's a bit away. I might cut it with spade and keep it in the deep container again - for a much better growing environment.
18103.jpg
 
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flowerbug

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I fell waaaaay behind on pruning after flowering when corporate life had me working 6 days a week. The competition with the lelands makes me wonder if they are worth salvaging. Thus, propagation.

i'm not talking about pruning, that's different than cutting back to ground level... severe pruning is what i would call it, but i think if you just search for lilac bush regeneration you will find more of what i mean.


Multiple cuttings and rooting hormone, check!

:)
 

flowerbug

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...
To take some photos, I found another independent basal shoot - not attached to the main bush, instead, it's a bit away. I might cut it with spade and keep it in the deep container again - for a much better growing environment.

i think this is a more sure-fire method than trying to start cuttings since there is already some root available - i'm just not sure @GottaGo can get at them easily enough...
 

Phaedra

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i think this is a more sure-fire method than trying to start cuttings since there is already some root available - i'm just not sure @GottaGo can get at them easily enough...
Yes, it depends.

Independent basal shoots are the best gifts (or nightmares? I think for raspberries the answer might be nightmares, hahaha).

Below shoots seem more likely produced by younger Lilacs. If they are too close to the main stems or grow from the exact same base, dividing them will be very difficult. Ours is also a pretty established plant, and it is more generous to offer independent shoots.

18104.jpg
 

GottaGo

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I am not familiar with tip cuttings and didn't try one yet. However, if the shrubs are already old, it's very likely you would find basal shoots with independent roots nearby. I found two in 2022, cut and transplanted them in the deep pots for one year. Last year, both got transplanted to the new locations and did well. Detaching a basal shoot with roots is the quickest propagation option for me. I've tried this for raspberry and beach rose (Rosa rugosa).

The tiny but energetic one
View attachment 64891
And the bigger one - I could expect flowers next spring, I guess.
View attachment 64890

To take some photos, I found another independent basal shoot - not attached to the main bush, instead, it's a bit away. I might cut it with spade and keep it in the deep container again - for a much better growing environment.
View attachment 64892
Sorry for response delay, life has run me over like a freight train.

I will prune back the dead bramble underneath and try to crawl in to see if they are root shoots or independents.

Thank you for the info!
 

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