Thanks for taking the time to write. Tough soil, such as compacted clay or sand that doesn't have much nutrient value, can certainly make plants like lilacs grow more slowly, as can too much shade (are yours growing in full sun?). You can try topdressing your soil with compost every spring, as well as trying a general-purpose garden fertilizer in spring. That may help!
---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com
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