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I live in Munich, Germany, and have had my Lilac Palibin bush for nearly a year. It has grown well in its pot on my south-east-facing balcony. However, now spring has arrived it has few leaves up the branches and only tiny bunches of buds at the end of the branches (see photo).

How should I prune it to encourage both more leaves and more flowers next year?

The palibin bush, with lots of stem growth, but not many leaves up the stems, and not many large bud groups

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It's still a little early for spring (and therefore plant growth) to be properly underway - in the UK we've had quite hard frosts overnight this last week, with lovely sunny days to compensate, not sure what your weather's been doing. The soil in the pot looks a little dry, so keep up with watering well if the weather is sunny and especially if it's windy at the same time.

You can apply fertilizer from April onwards - not sure what you can get there, but something like Miracle Gro general purpose watered in should do the trick. If it continues to look stunted, turn it out of its pot to see if it's root bound - if it is, it needs a larger pot.

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  • OK, thanks. I will try adding some fertiliser. We can get Miracle Gro here. I thought lilacs needed pruning each year - is this not true? – Tempest16 Mar 30 at 18:22
  • this one does not need much pruning,but a light prune after its finished flowering would be good, meaning to cut back all flowered stems and re-shape as necessary. – Bamboo Mar 30 at 18:45

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