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  3. How to Grow Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris)

How to Grow Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris)

If you’re a gardener looking to add a touch of charm and fragrance to your garden, check out this stunning lilac (Syringa vulgaris). With showy flowers in colours of pink, purple and white, these flowers bloom in late spring to early summer. In this article, we will walk through the top steps to successfully growing lilac plants and why they deserve a spot in your garden.

Inviting Fragrance and Wildlife to Your Garden

Lilacs have a sweet scent that they release into the air, making them a lovely addition to gardens and walk ways as they have a calming aroma. Along with their sweet aroma, these plants blossom is like a magnet for beneficial insects, particularly bees, butterflies and moths.

When combining Lilacs with other plants that bloom at different times or over a more extended period, you can create a haven for pollinators, transforming your garden into a wildlife-friendly garden.

Finding the Perfect Spot for Lilacs

The first step in growing lilacs is finding the perfect spot for them to grow. Look for areas with full sun to light shade as Lilacs flourish in exposed or sheltered gardens. Lilacs can also reach heights of 2.5 meters to 4 meters tall and often spread to similar sizes, so it is best to keep this in mind whilst choosing where to plant them.

Lilacs are very flexible when it comes to soil types. They grow well in chalk, loam, sand and clay soils, so long as the ground is moist but well-draining. Also consider choosing an area where the soil is slightly more neutral to acidic in pH levels. To learn more about testing your soil pH, click here.

Planting and Caring for Lilacs

Once you have chosen where you plan to plant your Lilac, it is time to get to the more hands-on side of gardening. For bare-root Lilacs, dig a hole large enough to fit the roots and deep enough so that the soil line is in line with the depth of the root-ball. Back-fill and gently firm the soil around the plant, making sure to water the plant enough to help give it a boost. Consider adding a layer of mulch after planting to help retain moisture in the soil, to keep your plant hydrated and healthy.

If you plan on growing your Lilac in a pot, try choosing one that is at least 60cm in diameter. Be sure to use a well-draining mix, such as John Innes No.3 compost, with some sand or grit mixed into the compost. Lilacs that are grown in pots will require more attention, particularly with watering and receiving enough nutrients. To help your Lilacs growth, we recommend an occasional feed with a liquid fertiliser during its growing season.

Pruning for Beautiful Blooms

To keep your Lilacs looking healthy, a little pruning may be required. After your flowers have faded towards the end of summer, you can deadhead any spent blooms on smaller shrubs to encourage new growth next year. With larger and more matured Lilacs, pruning after flowering will help shape and control the size of the plant. And remember to remove any dead, diseased, or dying wood during the process.

If you are concerned that your mature Lilac may need a little TLC, don’t be afraid to give it a hard prune whilst it is dormant in winter. Although you may miss out on flowers for the following year, the rejuvenated plant will be able to bloom more for several years afterwards.

Updated on March 15, 2024

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