Lilacs

Lilacs are most often planted for their strong fragrance although they do much more then that.

From fragrant deciduous azaleas to dwarf Japanese Azaleas, there is sure to be one that will fit every garden bed.


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Care of Lilacs

Lilacs are an easy to grow plant. They need at least 6 hours of sun a day to bloom well, and prefer sun all day long in the hottest spot in your garden. They are tolerant of a range of soil types.

Deadheading directly after they bloom will stimulate better flowering the following year. If you don’t deadhead, they only blossom extravagantly every second year. To keep the bush tidy trim out old branches and suckers from ground level. The bush propagates primarily through ground suckers and can become a wide shrub if not maintained yearly. To prevent powdery mildew you must increase air circulation through the plant. Prune out some of the older stems in the middle of the shrub after it has finished blooming to open it up.

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Why Doesn't My Lilac Bloom?

1. Some varieties need to mature before they bloom.

  • Some early bloomers include ‘Maiden’s Blush’ (pink) and ‘Lavender Lady’ (lavender).

2. The wrong fertilizer is being used—too much nitrogen.

  • When the lilac is young, a balanced fertilizer like 12‐12‐12 works well 
  • As it matures, use more phosphorus, such as a 5‐10‐5
  • Lilacs prefer a ‘limey’ soil, unlike most of our acidic‐loving broad leaf evergreens on the west coast. Use a granular lime like Dolopril to neutralize the soil.

3. Improper pruning.

  • Begin pruning when lilac reaches its desired height.
  • Prune right after blooming is done.
  • If you wait too long to prune, you will prune off the developing buds which are the blooms for the next year.
  • Remove all flowers plus 10‐15 inches of stem
  • 1/3 of the oldest stems should be cut to the ground periodically

4. Not enough sun.

  • Lilacs need at least 6 hours of sun a day, but they would prefer to be in full, hot sun as long as possible.

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