The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

How far can you cut back a lilac bush?

United Kingdom Gb

We have moved into a new property with an extremely large lilac bush in the garden. Where this is a lovely bush it does take over our rather small garden.

Please could you tell me how far I can cut this bush back without doing too much damage to it and what time of year would be best to do this.




Best to cut it back while it's dormant in winter or spring as it's coming into growth. But lilac is incredibly robust and you'd be hard put to kill it! Just concentrate on getting it to the size and shape you want.

19 May, 2009


According to my book, time for pruning is autumn, if you need to do it. But if you cut back too far, (down to 3ft) it won't flower for a couple of years, it says.

19 May, 2009

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?