Do you wish you had more lilac Bushes to enjoy? Here is an easy to way to divide or split your existing Lilac Bush to have multiple bushes for yourself or to share with friends. The good news is it’s free.
You’re probably wondering about this departure from my normal DIY, decorating posts. Especially after I’ve proclaimed to not have a green thumb and even posted about the The Best Way to Save a Faux Ficus Tree. Because we’ve been unable to buy new plants during this time, I’ve been splitting plants and transplanting them around my yard, just like my Mom taught me. Although I don’t know the names of most of the plants, if I like it, it gets split and transplanted. Just like that, it dawned on me that I might have something to share with other gardener wanna be’s.
I need more LIlac’s
Because of the gorgeous spring blooms, the wonderful aroma and beautiful arrangements you can make, I decided I needed more of these gorgeous plants in my yard. Here is my tried and true method to split and transplant a healthy new lilac bush.
All you need is a Rock!
Yes, that’s all you need. First, you want to identify a low lying branch and see where it will lay on the ground without breaking it from the Mother Plant. In order to assure a good root, you should disturb the ground beneath the limb with a gardening tool. Just loosen up the soil and then lay your branch against the ground and simply lay a rock on top to hold it in place.
OK, I have a confession
Although this is such a simple method to almost guarantee a new healthy bush, the process isn’t quick. You will need to leave the rock on the branch for at least 6 months. Mine has been on my branch for 1 year. You might be lucky and when you start to look for a low lying branch, and you may find one that has already rooted to the ground. This is a time for a happy dance. Also, lilac bushes can produce sucker’s. These usually grow close to the Mother Plants root. Although these provide immediate results, they are more fragile and harder to dig than one rooted a distance from the original root.
Time to Split your lilac Bush
Now that 6 months or a year have past. Wow, that went fast! LOL You can first remove the rock and make sure your branch has rooted to the ground. With a sharp shovel, you want to dig up your new lilac bush. Dig approx. 4-5 inches around the outer edges of the rooted area and bring as much soil as possible up with the rooted lilac bush. Take your pruning shears and cut the branch approximately at ground level, away from the Mother Plant. This will allow the Mother Plant to reshape and you’ll never know you removed a cutting.
Now you are ready to transplant
If you have your perfect spot picked out, you will want to transplant immediately.
- Dig a hole about the diameter of a gallon potting container or larger
- Fill with potting soil about half full
- Place your split lilac bush into the soil, keeping all the roots downward.
- If you soil fell away from the roots, add that original soil next.
- Water your plant thoroughly.
- Now fill the hole completely with potting soil and be sure the plant is stable.
- Apply mulch over the top.
I’m not ready to Plant!
If you are not ready to plant your new lilac bush, here are the steps to follow so your new plant will live until you can get it in the ground. One reason for splitting the lilac bush was to have new plants around my greenhouse, which is under construction. I decided to place all my split plants in containers. Also, because I have so many unexpected plants, a friend might get an unexpected surprise gift.
- First fill a container that will hold your root approx. 1/2 full of fresh potting soil.
- Second, add some of the original soil that fell away from the root.
- Third, water your new lilac bush.
- Fourth, fill the rest of the container with fresh potting soil and make sure your new lilac bush is firm in the container.
This is a DIY Post!!!
It just dawned on my that this is a DIY post after all. Do you see how many new lilac bushes I have? This post is all about how to DIY plants for those who wish they could garden. LOL
But seriously, after close examination, I believe one of the shoots was a volunteer sucker. Because it was unattached to the branch that had been placed under the rock, it most likely came up volunteer. Always be sure to look for these volunteer sucker’s as well. These may be more difficult to dig if they are close to the plant. They are also less likely to survive if damaged during the digging process, so be gentle.
This blog post is in no way a gardening guide. My Mom taught me these methods of splitting plants and it has worked well for me over the years. Different climates and soil may have completely different results. This blog is for entertainment purposes as I share what works for me. If you decide to give it a try, what have your got to lose? Just put a rock on it and see what happens.
Here is my 2021 harvest and I’m sharing more lilac details including how to arrange them in a basket. See 3 Reasons You Need A Lilac Bush.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Although this is a departure from my usual decorating and DIY posts, I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know if you try this technique of splitting a lilac bush. Feel free to ask me any questions and as always, your comments are greatly appreciated.