How To Plant a Lilac Bush

A Sweet Timeless Aroma

Blooming lilac flowers

Lilacs are vibrant and full of colors with lilac, pink, white, and blue flowers. Lilacs are one of the most popular flowers with over 250 varieties. They make beautiful hedges full of color. 

History of Lilacs

Lilacs date back to the 1700’s. They were in botanical gardens in New England. Both President Thomas Jefferson and President George Washington grew them in their personal gardens. Lilacs originated in Europe and Asia.

Lilacs come in thousands of varieties, the pink and purple being the most popular. They grow from dwarfs at 4 to 8 feet, to large varieties that grow up to 30 feet. Old plants can grow as high as 15 feet with a spread of about 12 feet. There is a variety to fit anyone’s needs. They are a low maintenance shrub.

  1. Variety recommendations.
    • The pink Persian lilac is a good hedge-growing variety that would complement your yard or garden.
    • White variety – Vistale for single flowers, Ellen Wilmott or Edith Cavell for double flowers.
    • President Lincoln is a favorite among blue single flowers.
    • Olivier de Serres or President Grevy, for double flowers.
    • A beautiful single is the Lilac, pink Lucie Baltet, doubles Belle de Nancy, Katherine Havemeyer, and Mme. Antoine Buchner. A vibrant single purple is the Congo. Violetta, Ludwig Spaeth is beautiful double.
  2. When ordering your lilacs, make sure they arelilac bush care guaranteed to be rooted on their own or under stock and grafted on privet. Make sure you talk to your nursery about all details before ordering.

  3. Tips for planting.
    • Plant in spring as early as the soil can be worked. Planting late can dwarf them and they won’t have normal growth the first year.
    • In climates with harsh winters, it is recommended that you plant in the fall.
    • In soil that has lime or is neutral, space lilacs 5 ft apart. Make sure it is a sunny area with at least 6 hours of sun daily.
    • Spread the roots vertically. Lilacs mat their roots, close to the soil surface.
    • Put clean topsoil on top adding a balanced plant food, and stable manure.
    • Water heavily until first bloom, except if you get lots of rain. Use a loose mulch above roots.
  4. Taking care of your lilacs.
    • Take care when handling plants so as to avoid injuring them.
    • Cut sod or grass back from stems to prevent harm from lawnmower.
    • Take care when cutting. If you learn to cut them they will have better growth next year.
    • Beware of pests. Stem borers make holes in the plant, leaving sawdust behind, gathering with new growth, and causing leaf distortion that can only be seen if examined closely.
    • Disfigurement is caused by weather conditions and the spread of mildew in late summer.
  5. Pruning.
    • Cut branches towards ground first.
    • Use a narrow saw to avoid wound.
    • If it's a wide bush, cut outside sprouts.
    • Remove seed heads.
    • Cropping can reduce the blooms.

Lilacs like an area where there is good drainage, as they don’t like to get their roots wet. You can water the Lilac infrequently, but thoroughly. Weed them to give them a clean look. Mulch lightly to retain their moisture, and keep weeds down so new shoots will sprout.

In conclusion, take consideration in the location for your lilac as the lilac is hardy, and will grow big over the years as well as spread out.


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