Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

There is enormous growth potential in lilacs, which you can use to breed offspring for free. Instead of buying young plants, propagate your most beautiful lilac tree with cuttings, root suckers and saplings. These vegetative propagation options produce new, profusely flowering ornamental trees with the same glorious attributes of their mother plants. Are you interested in a detailed guide? Then delve deeper into the following guide, which explains all the important work steps in a practical way.

Propagation by offshoots

Propagation by offshoots or cuttings

Breeding lilacs from cuttings is uncomplicated in practice, but requires a lot of patience. Depending on the type and variety of the mother plant, rooting takes several weeks to a few months.

While with wild species, such as Syringa vulgaris, almost every cutting grows, a very high failure rate can be expected with offshoots of noble lilac. This is how the propagation proceeds as desired.

Cut during flowering

Cut in the middle of flowering

In June, the lifeblood pulsates in the lilac right up to the tips of the shoots. Therefore, this is the ideal time to take cuttings. Please choose non-woody, non-flowering head cuttings with at least 4 leaf nodes. You can identify a leaf knot as a slight elevation under the bark. Place the sharp, clean scissors 1/2 to 1/2 inch below a leaf node.

In addition, make a minimal wounding cut on the side of each cutting to encourage rooting. With a knife, pull off a narrow piece of the bark over a length of 2 cm. Simply pluck off the leaves in the lower shoot area.

Put in substrate

Insertion in lean substrate

Before you put the finished cuttings aside to prepare the seed pots, dip the cut and wounded area in a rooting powder. You can buy suitable products in garden centers and hardware stores, such as Neudofix from Neudorff.

Proceed as follows:

  • Provide seed pots with a capacity of 1 to 2 liters
  • Fill in pricking soil, standard soil or emaciated potting soil as substrate
  • ideally add a tablespoon of rock flour or algae lime
  • Pre-drill a planting hole in the middle with a pricking stick
  • use half of each cutting
  • Place a wooden stick on the right and left as a spacer for a transparent bag

By putting a transparent hood over each cultivation vessel, you generate a warm, humid microclimate for the cuttings, which benefits root growth. The spacers are essential as direct contact between plant tissue and the plastic bag will inevitably cause rot.

care until planting

In a warm place that is not in full sun, please water as soon as the substrate dries on the surface. To prevent mold from forming, ventilate the hood daily. The lilac tree cuttings do not receive fertilizer in this phase because they try harder to develop strong roots in poor soil.

Experience has shown that rooting is not complete by autumn, so put the seed pots in before the first frost. In bright, frost-free winter quarters, please continue to make sure that the substrate does not dry out. As soon as a cutting sprouts, you can remove the spacer and bag. From now on, give a little diluted liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks until planting out.

Multiply in the bed

Propagate directly in the bed with sticks

Without going through a seed pot, the vigorous lilac offers you the option of propagating with sticks. Cut this variant of the offshoot during the leafless period, ideally in late autumn. A healthy, one-year-old shoot is suitable for cutting. Cut this to the length of a pencil so that it has leaf knots at the top and bottom.

This is how cuttings root directly in the bed:

  • Create a finely crumbly propagation bed in a partially shaded, sheltered location
  • make the wounding cut at the lower end, as with the cuttings
  • stick the sticks in rows three quarters of their length into the ground and water

A foil tunnel is ideal for a future lilac tree to survive the winter alive and well. Alternatively, mulch thickly with leaves or cover the propagation bed with a transparent, breathable fleece.

In the spring, growth begins and the cover can be removed. To create a dense, compact habit, cut back the shoots by a third once in June when they have reached a length of around 20 cm.

Propagation with reducers

The third variant is based on the strategy that an offshoot remains connected to the mother plant during rooting. This method is space-saving, uncomplicated and promising. It also replaces digging up root suckers on a young lilac, which could be unnecessarily weakened in the process.

Annual shoots located on the outer edge of the bush are suitable for lowering. Pull a twig to the ground and mark where the middle part touches the ground. Where the dredge meets the ground, remove the foliage and lightly score the bark with a razor blade.

How to proceed:

  • make a furrow 10-15 cm deep at the marked point
  • bury the defoliated and wounded drive part in it
  • fix with a tent peg or stone and water
  • tie the end of the branch vertically to a wooden stick

The mother plant continues to take care of the supply of the sinker. Care is limited to watering and weeding. If fresh shoots appear on the attached branch while you feel a noticeable resistance when you pull, you can dig up the sinker and plant it in the new location.

Propagating by root suckers

Lilac owes its place on the black list of invasive plants in particular to its strong root runners, from which numerous saplings sprout in summer. To avoid the imponderables of cuttings and sticks, use the root suckers to successfully propagate a lilac tree. These young plants seldom thrive in the space that you have planned for in your design.

How to proceed properly:

  • in autumn, cut off the root suckers with a sharp spade
  • then extensively dig up each sapling
  • dig a small planting pit at the new location
  • put the young plant a little deeper into the ground than before
  • press and water the substrate
  • protect the planting site with leaves, brushwood or garden fleece before winter

By digging up saplings and not simply uprooting them, the still filigree root system remains undamaged. If not enough roots have developed yet, place a young lilac in a large glass of water for a few days. Only when the root strands have reached a satisfactory length do you plant the shoots in a sunny, warm location in the nutrient-rich, humus-rich soil.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!