What time of the year do you fertilize lilacs?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

When it comes to fertilizing lilacs, I’ve found that early spring is the best time to do so. This is right before new growth starts appearing on the shrub. It’s important to use a well-balanced fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10.

I remember one spring when I decided to fertilize my lilacs. I had noticed that the shrubs were looking a bit lackluster and I wanted to give them a boost. After doing some research, I learned that lilacs benefit from a balanced fertilizer that provides equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

I headed to my local garden center and picked up a bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer. I chose a granular form, as it’s easy to apply and provides slow-release nutrients over time. I wanted to make sure my lilacs would receive a steady supply of nutrients throughout the growing season.

On a sunny day in early spring, I spread the fertilizer around the base of each lilac shrub. I made sure to avoid getting the granules directly on the foliage or stems, as that can cause burning. Instead, I focused on applying the fertilizer around the drip line of the shrub, where the roots are most active.

After applying the fertilizer, I gently worked it into the top layer of soil using a garden fork. This helps to ensure that the nutrients will reach the roots and be absorbed by the plant. Lilacs have shallow root systems, so it’s important not to disturb them too much.

I watered the shrubs thoroughly after fertilizing, to help the nutrients penetrate the soil and reach the roots. Lilacs appreciate regular watering, especially during dry periods, so I made sure to keep them hydrated throughout the growing season.

Over the next few weeks, I noticed a significant improvement in the health and vigor of my lilacs. The foliage became greener and more lush, and the shrubs produced more flowers than in previous years. It was rewarding to see the positive impact that proper fertilization had on my lilacs.

I highly recommend fertilizing lilacs in early spring before new growth appears. Using a well-balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer and applying it around the base of the shrub, while avoiding direct contact with the foliage, can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and abundant blooms.