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Plant of the Week – Lilacs

May 28, 2007 by Jocelyn

small-lilac.jpg

I’ve decided that I am going to start posting a “Plant of the Week” blog. I am starting out with one of my absolute favorites- Lilac bushes. I can still remember smelling the Lilac bush at our family’s old cabin when I was about 4 or 5 years old. It has always been my favorite, and the cute little purple flowers will bloom for about two weeks every spring. They have a wonderful scent, and I always make sure to cut a few blooms to bring inside because they make the house smell so good.

Depending on the variety, they can grow to 10-12 feet tall, and once they are well established they will also grow to be quite large in diameter. These shrubs are very low maintenance, and will thrive in full sun and well draining soil. They aren’t too picky, and will tolerate soils from clay to sand. One of the most important things you can do to keep your lilac looking great is to prune it every year, which helps with more blooms the following season.

Lilacs are very versatile, and will work well in most yards. Considering some of the cultivars that have been developed, lilacs will grow anywhere between zone 2 all the way down to the northern parts of zone 9 (depending on the variety of course!) Also, if you really enjoy blooming Lilacs, you can always plant a large variety of them in your yard with different bloom times. That should extend your bloom time to about 6 weeks instead of the normal 2 weeks if everything works out right. Here are the bloom times of some different varieties of lilacs:

Early May
Hyacinth lilac (Syringa hyacinthiflora)
Early lilac (S. oblata)
Pinnate lilac (S. pinnatifolia)
Mid-May
Chinese lilac (S. chinesis)
Meyer lilac (S. meyeri)
Persian lilac (S. persica)
Littleleaf lilac (S. microphylla)
Common lilac (S. vulgaris)
Late May to Early June
Komarov’s lilac (S. komarowii)
Preston lilac (S. prestoniae)
Early to Mid-June
Japanese tree lilac (S. reticulata)
Peking lilac (S. pekinensis)


2 Comments »

  1. Bev says:

    What a great article and photo of your lilacs. They are one of my favorites from childhood. I could stand and smell them for hours! There is no other smell like them. Thanks for honoring them!

  2. Jocelyn says:

    Thanks Bev, I feel the exact same way! I’m glad you liked it!

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