Transplanting lilac bushes is a fairly straightforward process. It is very similar to the act of transplanting most other bushes or shrubs. Transplanting lilac bushes should always be done in the autumn months. Transplanting lilac bushes in warmer, windier weather will increase the likelihood of the root system drying out. The first step is to dig around the plant and fairly deep. The underground root structure of a lilac bush can sometimes get pretty large, and it is important not to damage any roots if possible.
Once the plant is up, remove much of the soil from around the roots. This can be done using water or lightly shaking the roots.
Once the soil has been removed, select a new location for the plant. For best results when transplanting lilac bushes, the new hole should be dug before removing the plant from its current location. This will limit the amount of time that the plant spends out of the ground. Ensure that the new location will satisfy the needs of the plant. There should be a good amount of direct sunlight each day, a minimum of six hours, and also good drainage of water. The hole should be large enough to house the entire root system freely, and not in a large clump.
Spread out the roots and add soil a little bit at a time and press firmly to remove any air pockets and reinforce the support for the plant. The crown of the lilac bush, where the roots come together, should be just an inch or so beneath the surface of the soil, as the roots need air to grow. Now, the plant must be watered gently, to ensure the roots are in contact with the soil.
When transplanting lilac bushes, there is no such thing as being too careful to the roots. Damaging roots while transplanting lilac bushes can severely decrease the chance of survival. Transplanting lilac bushes is often done for a variety of reasons. One reason is that the plant may not be thriving in its current location. This may be for several reasons, including not enough sun or soil drainage. Another reason for transplanting lilac bushes is to create a better screen for wind or unattractive sights.