These wonderful plants will fill your yard with delicious scent.
When the lilacs begin to blossom, it is a solid indicator that spring has arrived for good. While many people only have a limited knowledge of common lilac (also known as French lilac) shrubs that can reach a height of 15 feet or more, there are now a lot more options available than there were fifty years ago. Some varieties that rebloom enhance the garden’s appeal the entire growing season.
How to Choose Lilacs
The common lilac is what you will most likely find when you go plant shopping. This traditional plant comes in a variety of cultivars and variations, each of which yields fragrant spring flowers in pink, purple, white, or even combinations of those hues. Common lilacs are typically the most fragrant variety of lilac and can grow to be rangy and large.
Rebloomers have arrived in the garden center thanks to recent introductions of hybrids between the common lilac and other shrub-type lilacs. Some of these more recent types are a little less fragrant, but they also tend to be smaller, bloom more frequently throughout the growing season, and have fewer powdery mildew issues.
The tree lilac is another common variety of lilac. It can grow to a height of around 20 feet and blooms with cream-colored flowers in the middle of the summer. Though it doesn’t require much trimming, keep in mind that the tree lilac is a tree, not a shrub.
Where to Plant Lilacs
Lilacs should be planted in full light (at least 6 to 8 hours per day), as too much shadow will prevent them from blooming. Lilacs also prefer moist, well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline.
When to Plant Lilacs
Before the ground freezes in the late fall is the ideal time to plant lilacs. After the earth thaws in the early spring, that is the next ideal period to plant. Lilacs will likely need to be planted as soon as you can locate them at the garden center, which is great; if you choose to do so during a warmer season, they might require additional watering.
How to Prepare the Soil for Planting Lilacs
A soil test should be performed prior to planting since lilacs thrive in slightly alkaline (6.5 to 7.0 pH), moist, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. Lime must be added to raise the pH if it is below 5.5. It’s time to get the soil ready when you’ve obtained the ideal pH. Improve individual planting holes by mixing Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Trees & Shrubs in a 50:50 ratio with the natural soil to give lilacs a nutrient-rich start. Iron and phosphorus are also present in this garden soil to promote root development and ward off leaf fading.
Where shouldn’t lilac bushes be planted?
Avoid planting lilacs in areas that will receive more than a half-worth day’s of shade because they thrive in full sun. Make sure to give them room to expand when you plant them. To find out the mature plant’s height and spread, read the label on the plant.
Lilacs require sufficient drainage to thrive. The soil should have just enough moisture to support the root system while still allowing for free drainage after heavy rains.
Dig a hole that is about 8 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep to test the drainage before planting. Add water to the hole. Choose a different location if the water hasn’t drained after an hour.
Do lilac trees develop quickly?
The lilac is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with an erratic, rounded shape. When young, it grows quickly, but as it ages, its growth slows to roughly one foot every year. The stems’ sturdy wood has a dark gray to gray-brown color. The leaves are light green underneath and dark green to blue-green above. The clusters of four petal blooms, which come in lilac, light purple, or lavender hues, bloom in April or May. They have a strong fragrance. Although the lilac thrives best in sunny locations, it cannot stand hot, muggy weather. It requires moist, well-drained soil that is neutral or just a little bit alkaline in pH. Peat or leaf mold can be added to the soil as a supplement. As soon as they start to fade, old flowers should be removed. Lilacs should be pruned as soon as they finish blooming. Pruning the shrub is preferred since it will highlight the medium-aged wood, which will still contribute to the plant’s good size and produce nice blooms. Remove a third of the earliest stems at ground level each year to accomplish this. Any remedial trimming, like removing competing branches or sucker growth, can be done concurrently. Pruning older lilacs as small, multiple-branched trees will highlight a few massive, old trunks while removing sucker growth and making them a focal point of the landscape. The shrub can also be pruned into a tree with a single stem. Lilacs that are overgrown can be pruned to a few inches above the surface. They will bloom once more in three to four years, Depending on the mature height, space your plants 3–4 feet apart if you want a hedge.
Can I grow lilacs close to the house?
Lilac roots aren’t thought to be invasive, so planting lilacs close to a building’s foundation poses no risk as long as you give them adequate room. The average root spread for lilac shrubs is 1.5 times that of the shrub’s width. In most cases, keeping objects away from the foundation at least 12 feet (4 meters) will prevent foundation damage.
Which month is ideal for lilac planting?
Lilac trees grow best in the fall, just after the leaves have fallen and before the ground freezes. Lilacs can be planted in the spring before the buds open. However, springtime is a relatively brief season, therefore transplanting at this time is only advised in regions with really harsh winters.