Great Gardens Blog

October Lilacs? Why are these blooming now?

We’ve had several curious folks reach out to us and ask why the lilacs near the middle school are blooming now…
After all, it’s October and lilacs bloom in May in Minnesota! So what’s going on here?

Because of the intense heat and drought of this summer, the lilac shrubs entered an early dormancy to help the plant protect itself from those harsh elements. Now that the weather has cooled off and we’ve had some good rains, the plant is ready to jump back into action. Kind of like how lilacs bloom in the spring after a long winter dormancy, this condition-forced dormancy tricked this plant into thinking it was time to bloom!

This October bloom itself won’t hurt the plant, but it may make it less likely to have strong, rigorous, or bountiful blooms next spring when we’d expect to see them!

So enjoy them for now and watch next spring to see how your lilacs are doing!

Lilacs in October?

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