Lilac blooming in mid October - problem?

Asked October 10, 2019, 12:51 PM EDT

Why is my lilac blooming now & is it a sign of stress? I’ve been watering it some as the drought wears on. It dropped some leaves before putting out the flower buds. Is there anything additional I should do now?

Montgomery County Maryland shrubs abiotic issues

1 Response

Hi - Yes, we are seeing a few landscape trees and shrubs with a few flowers at this time of year and it is a sign that the plants were under stress (such as from drought). Spring flowering plants produce next year's buds immediately after they finish flowering. Sometimes after a period of stress, when conditions regulate again in the fall, plants will open some flowers out of synch. There is really nothing you need to do besides water during this period of drought, as you have been doing. These two articles provide more information:
https://www.hortmag.com/weekly-tips/qa/confused-forsythia-blooms-in-the-fall-instead-of-spring

https://gardening.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/10/why-are-plants-blooming-now-after-the-storm/

Christa