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Lilacs 

Lilacs are usually dependable landscape plants, but sometimes the environmental conditions aren't quite right for them to put on their spectacular displays of flowers in the spring.  The plants require full sunshine and good drainage, and alkaline soil (8-8.5 on the pH scale). Lilacs need a pronounced winter chill for best flowering. This explains why some years the lilac blossoms are so abundant and other years they're sparse. Fertilizer will promote a flush of green growth, sometimes at the expense of blossoms.

Pruning lilac bushes

Lilac bushes develop buds during the summer months for the following spring's bloom. Prune after this season's flowers fade by cutting back the stems that produced flowers. Cut back to a pair of leaves and new flowering shoots will develop. Annual late-spring trimming will keep your lilac compact in size and enable it to produce new shoots for the following year's bloom.  If you prune in early spring you will sacrifice the blooms.

Lilacs seem to appreciate a nice dose of fertilizer or rotted manure early in the spring, too. One other point is that some lilacs are alternate bloomers, meaning they bloom heavily in alternate years and less heavily in between, so if your lilac seems not to respond well to your efforts at first it may simply be an "off" year.

 


Common Purple Lilac

The Common Purple Lilac, Syringa Vulgaris, is well-known and loved by gardeners all over the world for its beauty and fragrance; one of the most powerful fragrances emitted by a plant. This deciduous shrub is used as a hedge or as an individual accent plant. It has light purple flowers occurring in clusters amid the dark-green heart-shaped leaves. Lilacs can withstand severely cold winters (even -35 degrees C) and in fact the species does not grow well in areas without significant frost in wintertime. Captivating fragrance, gorgeous flowers.


Korean Lilac

The Dwarf Korean Lilac, Syringa meyeri 'palibin', is known as a compact but spreading, small-foliaged Lilac with showy late May lavender-purple flowers that are spread over the entire shrub canopy. It is the most common cultivar of the species, valued for its even more compact habit (to 4-6). Meyeri is named after F.N. Meyer, who introduced this species to the United States from Northern China in the early 20th century. It is widely used as a foundation, group planting, informal or formal hedge, or specimen shrub.


Miss Canada Lilac

The Miss Canada Lilac,Syringa x prestoniae, is a spreading, graceful shrub with arching branches, reaching 6 to 9 feet in height, 5 to 8 feet spread. Foliage is dark green with a beautiful yellow green fall color. It is a prolific bloomer of bright pink flowers and blooms in mid June. A reasonably compact lilac for the smaller garden, and shrub border.


Persian Lilac

The Persian Lilac, Syringa x persica, is a spreading, graceful shrub with arching branches, reaching 4 to 8 feet in height, 5 to 10 feet spread. This deciduous shrub has dark green foliage. The pale lilac flowers are fragrant, late spring blooming, abundantly produced on 2 to 3 inch long panicles. A reasonably compact lilac for the smaller garden, and shrub border. Introduced 1614.


White Persian Lilac

The White Persian Lilac, Syringa x persica 'alba', is a spreading, graceful shrub with arching branches, reaching 4 to 8 feet in height, 5 to 10 feet spread. This deciduous shrub has dark green foliage. The pale lilac flowers are fragrant, late spring blooming, abundantly produced on 2 to 3 inch long panicles. A reasonably compact lilac for the smaller garden, and shrub border. Introduced 1614.


Miss Kim Lilac

The Lilac' Miss Kim', Syringa patula 'Miss Kim', is a very popular shrub. It is thought by many to be the number one Lilac in the Midwestern United States. It has an abundance of fragrant blossoms in spring that are dark lavender-pink in bud and fade to a very soft lavender-pink when fully opened. This shrub is resistant to powdery mildew, but suffers under prolonged drought conditions, when it may drop many of its leaves. The Miss Kim Lilac makes a wonderful shrub for foundation plantings.


Chinese Lilac

The Chinese Lilac, Syringa Chinensis, is a large round-headed shrub that can be used as a single specimen or as a background border or screening planting. It produces an excellent floral display in early May. The flower color is lilac purple. Flowers are produced in 4-5" long panicles after the foliage emerges. It is a profuse bloomer with fragrant flowers covering much of the plant. Renewal pruning to remove a few older canes each year will help keep the plant full to the base. Prune after flowering for best landscape effect.


James Macfarlane Lilac

The Lilac 'James Macfarlane', Syringa presoniae 'James Macfarlane', blooms two weeks later than Syringa vulgaris types. The true single pink flowers bloom freely. It is extremely hardy and adaptable, withstanding moisture conditions fatal to vulgaris hybrids. This lilac has an upright shape. The large clusters of deliciously scented flowers bloom in May and June and are attractive to butterflies. Lilacs should be grown in fertile, humus-rich, well drained soil.

 

 


 

 

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