Lilac bushes are beautiful perennial plants that bloom in the spring. Their gorgeous purple hues are a wonderful addition to any garden and their heavenly scent is loved by bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Learning how to plant and grow thriving lilac bushes is easy.
Caring for Your Lilac Bushes
If you’re looking to add lilac to your landscaping or yard this year, they can be pretty easy to grow. It’s good to keep in mind basic care and maintenance though if your want your lilac plants to thrive.
Different Types of Lilac
There are 18 different types of lilac bushes (and lilac trees!). Although most come in a shade of purple, lilacs can also be white and pink. With so many different varieties, you are sure to find one in your zone or region that grows best. Before planting anything, get to know what zone you’re located in so that you have success with gardening.
How to Plant Lilac Bushes
Lilacs should be planted in the fall before the ground begins to freeze. The second-best time to plant lilacs is in the spring, right when the ground begins to warm up.
Lilac bushes do best in a full sun location, and need plenty of space to grow as they can get 12-15 feet tall, and 10 feet wide. On average, lilac bushes can grow 6-8 inches per year. Although not all bushes will get that large, it’s a good idea to plan for the growth of your flowering bush.
Dig a hole that is twice as wide and twice and deep and the root. This allows for sufficient root growth of your plant. Be sure to water heavily when planting. The soil and the roots should be soaked before being planted in the ground.
Soil Conditions for Lilac Bushes
Lilac bushes enjoy a slightly alkaline soil level with a pH of 6.5 to 7. Be sure your soil is moist but well drained as lilacs do not like to sit in water. Add compost and organic fertilizer in the spring and fall to be sure your lilac bush is getting the nutrients it needs.
Basic Lilac Care
Lilacs should be watered once or twice a week, when the soil begins to dry out. These blooming shrubs like a lot of water, so water heavily (count to 10 or 15) to be sure that the water reaches the bottom of the roots. However, maintain well drained soil and do not over water lilacs as they will not bloom if the soil is too wet.
Lilacs will begin to droop if they are in need of water and it’s hard for them to thrive if they are not watered frequently enough. Even so, lilacs are a hardy bush that can take short periods of drought.
Fertilize and feed lilacs in the spring and in the fall, right before the first frost. This will ensure your lilac bushes have the nutrients they need in order to grow to maturity.
Seasonal Care of Lilacs
Lilac bushes require little care in order for them to thrive. However, they do benefit from pruning and trimming.
For mature bushes, in the late winter (March or April), be sure to prune your lilac bushes back 8 inches. This will ensure flowering every year. If your mature shrub is not flowering, prune aggressively to encourage growth (12 inches or more).
Cutting lilac bushes back a few inches during the spring and summer to shape the bushes will not harm a mature lilac shrub.
Deadheading Lilac Flowers
As your lilac shrub flowers in the spring, remove the deadheads as soon as the flower begins to die off. This will allow more flowers to bloom during the spring season as energy can be spent on growing new flowers. Deadheading will also encourage more flowering the following year.
Companion Planting with Lilacs
Lilacs are large and can easily take over a garden bed or garden area. However growing lilacs near other vegetation can be a good thing. Lilacs have very fragrant blossoms and do well at attracting pollinators to your garden. Planting near any other fruit or vegetable that also flowers in the spring will benefit your future harvest.
As mentioned previously, lilacs are very hardy and tend to thrive without suffering from too many diseases. However, they do suffer from powdery mildew. This is usually caused by too little air circulation. To prevent this from happening, be sure to prune back your lilac bushes every year and don’t plant too closely to other plants.
Learning how to plant and grow lilacs can be simple, and with stunning blooms, this flower is a must have in any garden! Lilacs smell heavenly and bloom year after year. Adding lilac bushes to your garden will attract pollinators and provide beauty. With a little maintenance, you can grow thriving lilac bushes in your yard.
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