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Basically, the lilac (bot. Syringa - not to be confused with the summer lilac) is an indestructible plant that often copes well with the most adverse conditions and even diligently overgrows the garden with its root shoots. But even for this shrub there are hardships that prevent it from sprouting again in spring. Find out what they are and what you can do about them in the article below.

If the lilac does not sprout, this can have various causes

If the lilac does not sprout - the most common causes

If your lilacs need a little longer in spring, then watch them first. Sometimes the shrub just needs a little longer, for example if you have just cut it back heavily or even put it on the stick. In many cases, however, problems in the root area are behind the lack of budding.


These small rodents pose a massive problem in many gardens, as they prefer to eat the plant roots and thus kill numerous garden plants. An infestation is initially not recognizable from the outside, only when the lilac dies or no longer sprout in spring can the damage be recognized by examining the roots. In this case, there is nothing you can do for the lilacs except dig them up completely and specifically combat the vole infestation. You can plant young lilacs with a root barrier and kill two birds with one stone.

Hard winter with heavy frosts

Although the common lilac is hardy and gets through the cold season without any problems, even this robust shrub can freeze to death in very severe and frosty winters with extremely low temperatures. It becomes particularly problematic when extreme, dry frost (i.e. without protective snow cover) meets bright sunshine. In this constellation, frost damage is unavoidable. Check the branches and twigs of the lilac to see if they are still green under the bark. Cut the shrub down to just above the ground and top it with mature compost.

Heavy soil / waterlogging

Waterlogging is particularly common in heavy, loamy soil, especially after a rainy summer or a cold, wet winter. Lilacs do not tolerate wet feet, and rotting bacteria and fungi settle on the roots, which are constantly in the water - with the result that the bush dies. If an affected lilac no longer drives out for this reason, it can no longer be saved.


The first signs of lilac disease are leaf discoloration, which indicates a fungal or bacterial infection.

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