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Looking into someone’s yard and seeing bushes upon bushes of lilacs is an ethereal experience – these flowers are truly beautiful. Better yet – they’re a low-maintenance perennial.
Whether they’re white, purple, or that heavenly shade of lavender, lilacs epitomize Springtime. In fact, for many gardeners across the country, they’re a non-negotiable. Some people simply cannot imagine Spring without lilac bushes adorning their front and back yards.
Known for their lovely fragrance and clusters of tiny flower petals, lilac bushes can add visual appeal to even the simplest gardens. Luckily for us, they’re easy to care for, which makes them a great option for gardening beginners.
Plant this tree in your yard this season, and you’ll reap its beauty every Spring for decades to come. They’re known to live up to 100 years in the same spot! With a little know-how and a few easy tips, you’ll be growing your own lilac bushes before you know it.
All they ask for is sunshine, fertile soil, water, and a little TLC in the way of pruning every now and then. Now let’s delve into the details of how to plant and care for your lilac bushes!
How To Grow Lilac Bushes
Lilac Bush can be planted at the beginning of Spring, or after Fall before harsh Winter conditions settle in. They can grow past 20 feet tall and require ample space to stretch their roots (at least a space that’s 5 feet wide). Since lilacs need well-drained soil to thrive, choosing an elevated planting space is best.
They also need about 6 hours of direct sunlight each day, or they won’t be able to produce the blooms they’re famous for.
*There are different varieties of lilacs that bloom at different times, so some experts recommend planting a few varieties together to ensure that you have lilacs blooming throughout Spring. The most common lilac is the Syringa Vulgaris.
Lilacs transfer well, which means you can purchase a growing pot from your local nursery. Otherwise, be prepared to see your lilac bushes blossom in 4 to 5 years if you’re growing them from buds.
Once you choose the planting spot, dig a hole that’s deep enough to accommodate the pot of lilac, plus 2-3 inches deeper.
Next, remove the lilac from the pot and place it in the hole you’ve dug, making sure to gently spread out the roots to help them settle. Work some topsoil into the hole to completely cover the roots. Water the spot to moisten the soil.
Do not over-water, however, as lilac bushes do best in well-drained soil. If you’re planting more than 1 bush, plant each one at least 5 feet apart so that they all have enough room to spread their roots.
Since lilac bushes are low-maintenance, you will reap their beauty year after year if you take care of them properly and provide them with the few things they need to thrive.
When it comes to soil, they need fertile, alkaline soil.
TIP: Lilacs actually prefer “sweet” soil that is not too acidic. If you’ve tested your soil (highly recommended before planting) and it tests too acidic, you can add garden lime to the mix to adjust the alkaline levels.
After your bush has been planted, water it regularly to keep the root system moist, but never to the point of flooding – well-drained soil is key.
As Spring approaches, you’ll want to provide your lilac bush with extra nutrients by using organic fertilizer. This will help invigorate your flower blooms.
It will also help strengthen this year’s wood, which ultimately determines the quality of next Spring’s blooms. Make sure not to use a fertilizer that contains too much nitrogen, as nitrogen can strangle your blooms.
If you’re concerned about weeds taking over the area, you can purchase some mulch, burlap, or stone to place over the topsoil, which will help prevent further growth of weeds, grass, or other seeds that have been blown into the area.
DEADHEADING & PRUNING:
If left untamed, lilac bushes can grow past 30 feet tall, making them unmanageable for even the most seasoned gardener. This is why yearly pruning is so important. Pruning will also ensure that your bushes bloom large clusters for years and decades to come.
When your blooms are spent, it’s time to prune. Prune your lilac bush with quality clippers.
Every year after bloom, remove the dead wood and old canes so that you’re left with strong wood. Be careful, however, not to over prune because this may disrupt blooming for up to 3-4 seasons, and you definitely don’t want that! Deadhead any dead blooms to encourage regrowth, just as you would with other flowers.
There you have it – that’s all you need to grow these abundant lilac bushes in your garden! Full sun, moist soil, regular watering, and deadheading at the end of Spring is all this tree really needs to keep producing lilacs that you can be proud of.
If you’re looking for more flowers for your yard that are also low-maintenance, check out this list, you’re bound to fall in love with a few varieties that pair beautifully with your lilacs!
If you have more space in your yard that gets at least 6 hours of sun each day, then this list of full sun perennials will give you plenty to work with.
Before you know it, your garden will be the envy of your entire neighborhood!