There’s nothing so beautiful and fragrant as the lilac bush in spring. It’s blossoms are a wonderful welcome to the new season. Should you enjoy flowers, this shrub is too beautiful to pass by! In this post, I’ll teach you how to grow lilacs from suckers so that you can propagate and add their unique charm to your landscape.
An Old Fashioned Flower
While lilacs are not native to North America, they have become part of our heritage. Traditionally, lilacs were a favored plant, were often grown on many old farms and homesteads.
Even after these homes were vacated and began to crumble, the lilacs lived on. To us, they are a whimsical reminder of times gone past. In fact, if you ever find an old lilac bush growing in the middle of a field or at the edge of a forest, it’s likely there was once an old homestead nearby.
Perhaps their hardiness had something to do with their popularity among our ancestors? Lilacs are strong plants and need little personal care. While they do grow to be quite old, they are also self-preserving through their root system.
How to Grow Lilacs from Suckers
Because some lilac bushes sends out suckers (or shoots) through their roots, they are easy to propagate! In fact, if your neighbors have an old lilac, they’ll thank you to remove suckers the plant insists on sending up every year!
All you have to do is dig up these shoots with a portion of their root system intact. Let me show you how!
Digging Up Suckers for Successful Replanting
In order to dig up lilac shoots, you’ll need a shovel, a bucket for holding the suckers and pruning shears.
Choose a young shoot. With your hand shovel, loosen and remove the soil around it, until the roots are exposed.
Follow the sucker’s large root system and you’ll discover it travels horizontally in the earth, back toward the parenting shrub. This root must be cut with your pruning shears if you are to remove the sucker.
However, before cutting the plant free, look for roots that are fine and hair-like. These will support your lilac shoot once it is detached from the nourishment of the parenting bush. Once these fine roots are sourced, take your pruning shears and cut the main root just below the hairs!
Here’s an example of what you want to see:
Because this particular sucker has developed it’s own root system, it will be sure to survive on it’s own.
Replant Your Suckers Wherever You Want a Lilac Bush
Replant the lilacs wherever suits your fancy! By the barn, near the kitchen window or front door, at the mailbox or as part of a hedgerow! If you can’t decided where to put them, these tender young shoots should be planted in pots so the roots don’t dry out.
Whether you plant them in the earth or into pots, the young shoots should be given a hearty drink of water! Keep their roots moist for several weeks and they will begin growing for you.
Now that you know how to grow lilacs from suckers, spring is a wonderful time to add a few to your landscape!