When Do Lilacs Bloom In Zone 5

Here are seven interesting facts about these beloved garden plants to honor the lilac bushes that are currently putting on a magnificent, fragrant display.

Kate Chopin described how Sister Agathe would frequently turn to the window during the day when the aroma of lilac blossoms started to fill the air, wearing the joyful, beatific expression that simple, pure souls wear as they wait for the arrival of people they love.

We could not have put it more succinctly. Here are seven things to know about cultivating and caring for these beloved garden plants, in honor of the lilac bushes that are putting on their magnificent, fragrant display at this time of year.

| Climate for Lilacs

While some lilac types may survive warmer environments, most prefer chilly weather (zones 37). They require a period of hibernation before they can bloom, which cold winters cause. Lilac plants typically bloom in the spring and only for two weeks, though the exact timing depends on the kind and location.

| Sun, Soil and Fertilizer

P. Allen Smith, a landscape and garden designer from Arkansas, lists lilac bushes among his top 15 favorite scented plants for the yard. He said to Flower, “Plants should be treated with a general fertilizer in early spring and then again after the bloom cycle. Lilacs bloom best when planted in full sun and well-drained, alkaline soil. For your early spring feeding, switch the general fertilizer out for super phosphate or another fertilizer heavy in phosphorus to promote blooms.

Mara Tyler of the Farm at Oxford in Pennsylvania, a grower of flowers, also provided her lilac-growing advice, beginning with full sun. Don’t overfeed the lilac, she advised, but we do give it a dose of compost and an organic local fertilizer in the ratio of 3-5-4 every year. We want to encourage blossoms rather than foliage growth because we want our lilacs to produce blooms. Additionally, it may take 34 years after planting tiny lilac pups before we can actually harvest from a bush. The first few years they grow more slowly, but around year 45 it seems like their growth really takes off.

The best time of year to plant lilac bushes, according to Tyler, is: “Whenever we have the time, we plant in the spring or the fall. Care, however, is influenced by the time you plant.” As with any plant, if you plant in the spring, be careful to water it regularly throughout the summer’s heat. The plants typically settle in well in the fall thanks to drainage from winter showers or snowfall.

| Pruning Lilacs

After they finish blooming, lilac bushes should be pruned and shaped since they produce buds on old wood. You run the danger of removing the blossoms for the following year, Tyler warned.

| Varieties of Lilac Bushes

While there are countless lilac types to choose from, here are a few to take into account if you have certain needs.

  • Plant “Miss Kim” or “Blue Skies” in zones 8 or other warmer areas.
  • Consider “Excel,” which puts on its major display between February and March, or possibly “Charles Joly” when thinking of early bloomers.
  • recurring blooms: Select “Josee.”

| European Descent

North America does not have any native lilac bushes. Eastern European mountains in Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania are where the Common Lilac first appeared. The species was raised by the Turks for many years. Lilac plants eventually made their way to Vienna and Paris in the 1500s. Since they created so many different types, the common lilac is frequently referred to as a French hybrid or just a French lilac. Lilac bushes now adorn the gardens of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson after these European species finally made the voyage to the New World.

If you cut flowers from your lilac bushes for an arrangement, you may keep the flowers fresher longer by misting the petals, which can absorb water, and changing the water in the vases every day.

| A Whole Island of Lilacs

On Mackinac Island in Michigan, there are two additional species in addition to more than 100 types of common lilacs ” (pronounced “Mackinaw). The best growing conditions are cold winters and sunny, warm summers with enough precipitation. And the island’s well-drained soil, which has a limestone rock basis, is perfect for lilacs.

The oldest lilac bushes on Mackinac date back to the 1870s and can reach heights of 20 feet and a diameter of 27 inches “Lavander trees Since 1949, the town has celebrated the beginning of the June flowering season with a 10-day Lilac Festival. Even the Lilac Festival Queen and the Grand Parade are present. Plan to travel around this small town by foot, a bicycle, or a horse. In 1898, vehicles were outlawed.

Bonus | A Book of Lilacs

What better way to mark the passing of the seasons than with the flower that seems to herald the arrival of summer? For many years, lilacs have been a favorite flower and a source of creativity for painters like Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. In the eighth volume of the Gibbs Smith flower series, Lilacs: Beautiful Varieties for Home and Garden (Gibbs Smith, April 2022), Naomi Slade provides straightforward gardening advice to show that anyone can cultivate these vivid blooms. Beautiful images by Georgianna Lane also provide a ton of visual inspiration.

During what season do lilacs bloom?

Did you know that the National Gardening Bureau has designated 2022 as the “Year of the Lilac”? They have a sweet, eerie aroma and are among the easiest shrubs for your landscaping to maintain that bloom in the spring. Find out how to plant, nurture, and prune your lilacs.

About Lilacs

Syringa vulgaris, or common lilac, is prized for its tenacity, dependability, and scent. Lilacs are so hardy that they can live for more than 100 years and frequently outlive the houses they were planted near.

This tiny, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub (or tree) has approximately ten canes and blooms at eye level. The height of a common lilac can range from 8 to 12 feet, depending on the cultivar. The aromatic flowers attract butterflies and make good cuttings.

There are lilac types that come in white, cream, and even pink and yellow, though the blooms are typically lilac/purple in hue (ranging from very pale to extremely dark). Flowers can be solitary or double in number.

Lilacs bloom in northern states from mid- to late spring for around two weeks. However, there are lilac varieties for early, mid, and late seasons that, when cultivated together, guarantee a consistent bloom for at least six weeks.

Lilacs do best in soil that is fertile, humus-rich, well-drained, and neutral to alkaline (at a pH near 7.0). Add compost to your soil to improve it if it is in bad condition. (Learn more about adding amendments to the soil and getting it ready for planting.) Lilacs don’t enjoy having their feet wet and won’t blossom if they are kept too moist, so make sure the planting area drains well.

Lilacs should be planted in full sun, which is defined as having at least six hours of sunlight each day, for the finest blooms.

How to Plant Lilacs

  • If you’re fortunate, a friend may offer you a sucker, or offshoot, of the plant’s root system. The sucker will first appear pitiful, but all you need to do is dig a hole, fill it with soil, and then insert the sucker. water next, and then wait. You’ll be rewarded with enormous, fragrant blossoms in 4 or 5 years.
  • Lilacs purchased from nurseries can also be planted easily. If the plant was cultivated in a container, spread its roots out as you plant it; if it was balled or burlapped, gently remove the covering and any rope before doing so. Set the plant 2 to 3 inches deeper than it was while it was growing in the nursery and cover the roots with topsoil. in water Then add more topsoil to the hole to finish it.
  • Depending on the kind, place multiple lilac bushes 5 to 15 feet apart.
  • Apply a layer of compost under the plant each spring, followed by a layer of mulch to keep moisture in and weeds under control.
  • If the weekly rainfall is less than 1 inch, water during the summer.
  • If lilacs receive too much fertilizer, they won’t bloom. In the late winter, they can manage a few 10-10-10, but no more.
  • Spread some lime and thoroughly composted manure around the base of your lilac bush once it has finished blooming. Remove suckers while you form the shrub by trimming it.

Pruning Lilacs

  • Since lilacs blossom on old wood, it’s important to prune in the spring immediately following their bloom. You risk removing the wood if you prune later in the summer. A word of advice: It’s time to prune if your lilac flower clusters are getting smaller!
  • After bloom each year, cut away any dead wood. Remove the oldest canes by pruning (down to the ground). Take out the tiny suckers. Reduce weak branches until a robust shoot remains. Reduce tall canes to eye level.
  • Remove one-third of the oldest canes (down to the ground) in year one, half of the remaining old wood in year two, and the remainder in year three if your lilac is very old and in poor condition. Cutting the entire plant back to a height of approximately 6 or 8 inches is another option for elderly lilacs. Although it sounds dramatic, lilacs are remarkably resilient. This option’s drawback is that it takes some time for the hair to grow back. The lilac will grow back bursting with blooms, so there will be less work and more reward.
  • It is important to understand that extreme trimming causes bloom loss for one to three years. For these reasons, a smart pruning program gives the bushes yearly attention in an effort to avoid making dramatic and severe cuts.

The Syringa vulgaris kind of lilacs is the most widely grown and fragrant:

  • Try the double magneta variety “Charles Joly” for an early bloom.
  • Lilacs in the middle of the season include “Monge,” a deep reddish purple, and “Firmament,” a delicate blue.
  • Miss Canada, a reddish pink, and Donald Wyman, a solitary purple, are two late-season beauties.

Syringa x hyacinthiflora, an early-flowering lilac cultivar, opens 7 to 19 days before those of the common lilac. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to its fragrant blossoms.

The cutleaf lilac, a fragrant pale lavender, is one of the common lilacs that may flourish as far south as Zone 9. Common lilacs appreciate cold weather. The beautiful shrub Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’ has light lilac-blue flowers that eventually become white.

There are tiny kinds for gardeners who simply don’t have the space for the conventional larger lilacs, particularly those in urban settings. Even in a container on your balcony or patio, they will grow.

  • ‘Baby Kim’ has a lovely rounded shape, only grows 2 to 3 feet high (and 3 feet wide), and has purple flowers that draw butterflies. Hardiness from Zones 3 to 8 extended.
  • Compact lilac ‘Little Lady’ (Syringa x) has dark pink buds that open to lilac-pink flowers and grows to be 4 to 5 feet tall and wide at maturity. Zones 2 to 7 are tough.
  • Syringa vulgaris cultivars “New Age Lavender” and “New Age White” were developed for mildew resistance and are quite compact, growing from 4 to 5 feet tall and wide. Hummingbirds and butterflies are drawn to their fragrant blossoms. Zone 4 hardy.

Lilacs can be grown in Zone 5?

I recently purchased a ‘Sensation’ lilac, but I neglected to check the hardiness zone. So, despite being in zone 5, here I am with a lilac from zone 3. What will occur? Is that money I just threw out the window? Which lilac grows better in zone 5?

It was not intended to exclude all other hardiness zones when some nurseries simply listed zone 3 on a plant’s label. You should be aware that the zone listed is the coldest one in which the plant can survive, yet it will also thrive in warmer climates. It is the smallest zone that the plant can endure.

When it comes to your lilac, it can withstand extremely cold temperatures of -40oF/-40oC but will also thrive in milder climes like zone 5, where winters are more warmer. See the table for further information.

Now, if the label supplier had stated the range of hardiness zones the plant is acclimated to, as many nurseries do, this issue might have been averted. Zones 3 to 7 would be appropriate for your “Sensation” lilac because it is a cultivar of the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris), which prefers cold winters and won’t bloom as freely in zones 8 and above. Zone 5 is situated, as you may see, safely in the midst of the lilac’s cold tolerance range.

Therefore, while purchasing plants and just seeing one zone listed on the label, keep in mind that you can purchase both plants native to your hardiness zone (5) and plants tolerant of higher levels of cold (zones 1 to 4 in your case). Thus, your options are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. You should stay away from those who are from zones warmer than your own (6 to 13), since they won’t be able to handle the harsher winters in your region.

Helpful Tip: If you ever have any doubts about a plant’s hardiness in your area, consult a member of the nursery staff. They’ll be able to point you in the direction of plants that will thrive in your region.

Which lilac is more suited for zone 5? is the second question you asked, and I can tell you that almost all lilacs are hardy in zone 5, so you may pretty much choose any variety.

How often does a lilac flower bloom each year?

The late lilac is the leading contender for a long-lasting lilac that will bloom profusely throughout the warmer months of the year (Syringa villosa). As its name suggests, it blooms later than other types and produces fragrant white, pink, rosy lilac, violet, and even crimson blossoms. This lilac bush only has one summer bloom and enjoys direct sunlight.

Consider a reblooming lilac for your garden if you want consistent flowers. Lilacs that rebloom will first bloom in the spring, then rest until summertime when they will blossom once more. After their spring rest, certain types, such as the Bloomerang dark purple, will continue to bloom until the fall. Look for the Josee reblooming lilac (Syringa Josee), which intermittently flowers throughout the summer and into the fall, if you live in a warmer climate.

Do lilac plants have many blooming seasons?

Compared to other lilac trees, bloomerang lilac trees are more compact, reaching a short height of 4-6 feet tall and a spread of 4-6 feet, giving them a pleasing, rounded appearance. Their long, arched branches bear their veined leaves, which are bright green for the majority of the year until turning yellow in the fall.

The characteristic 4-petaled, 4-6 inch deep lilac-purple blooms on bloomerang lilac trees appear starting in May, cease blooming in June, and then return in July through the first frost of the year.


With tall, arched branches, a compact and rounded shape, and rich green foliage that turn golden in the fall. Four spread petals, 4-6 inch, lilac-purple flowers that bloom in the spring and later in the summer.