Lilac, Syringa

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Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated February 23, 2014

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Purple and White Lilac, Purple and White Syringa

Lilac is a neat plant, it can grow like a bush or a tree, comes in a variety of colors and is fragrant! The most common colors of Lilac are shades varying from purple to blue, though most that I’ve seen are purple. I have also seen red, white and even yellow Lilacs! The varying species of Lilac also tend to have varying levels of fragrance, though they all tend to smell similar there are some subtle differences.

Lilacs bloom in early to mid Spring, and attract bees and other pollinating insects. Most Lilacs I’ve seen grow to about 7 or 8 feet tall, but I’ve also seen a Lilac close to 30 feet tall. It all depends on how you prune it. Growing Lilac is as simple as it gets, it’s best to plant it in the ground. If you plan on growing it indoors in a pot I’d suggest starting out no smaller than with a 5+ gallon sized container. The 1 gallon containers tend to dry out too fast. They can handle direct sunlight for the most part, but will also be OK in partial sunlight. I’d grow Lilac in a pot for the first year or so and if it has trouble where you initially place it, move it around until you find a good permanent spot.

Lilacs don’t like to dry out, but they also do not like to stand in water – good drainage is a must. You can fertilize with a general fertilizer early spring to help it bloom, but you do not want too much nitrogen.

You can propagate Lilac by seed or by suckers that grow off the root. I have pulled up 4 lilac suckers and planted each deeply into a 5 gallon pot with 1/2 natural soil and 1/2 potting soil and they have begun to take root aggressively. The smaller lilac I pulled had very little root and is having a harder time than the others but I think it will pull though just fine. The only sign it has of trouble is wilting leaves. I have yet to grow Lilac by seed, but I will be attempting to grow them this month. If you pull a Lilac Sucker out of the ground, I suggest you spend your time digging it up instead of just pulling. Lilac will break fairly easily, so by pulling you might just break it off of the root.

Red Lilac, Red Syringa

My first attempt at designing anything in a garden will be with Lilac and Wisteria. Both are fragrant and have purple and white colored varieties. I will eventually be planting alternate colored Wisteria at the base of my Lilacs and place them somewhere near a walk way or entrance, purple Wisteria growing up a white Lilac and a white Wisteria growing up a purple Lilac.

Lilac is a must have for ‘fragrance farmers’!





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