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Looking into someone’s yard and seeing bushes upon bushes of lilacs is an ethereal sight – these flowers are truly beautiful. Better yet – they’re low-maintenance!
Whether they’re white, pink, or that heavenly shade of light purple, lilacs are one of those plants that make you think of Springtime, no matter where you live. In fact, in many gardens across the country, they’re a non-negotiable. Some people simply cannot imagine Spring without their lilac bushes in their front and back yards.
Known for their lovely fragrance and clusters of tiny flower petals, lilac bushes are the perfect plant for making your garden more visually appealing and even more welcoming. Luckily for us, they’re actually easy to take care of, making it 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. 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, some water, and a little TLC 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 bushes can be planted at the beginning of Spring, or after Fall before harsh Winter weather settles in. They can grow between 5 to 15 feet tall, so you’ll want to make sure you have enough space for them in your yard before you start planting.
Remember, they’ll need plenty of space to stretch their roots – at least a space that’s several feet wide. They also need about 6 hours of sunlight each day, so make sure the area is far away from any shade, otherwise, the tree won’t do very well.
There are different varieties of lilacs that bloom at different times, so some experts recommend planting a few varieties together, as this will help to ensure that you have lilacs blooming throughout Spring. (*The most commonly known lilac is the Syringa vulgaris).
Once you choose the spot where you want your lilac bush to grow, dig a hole that’s deep enough to accommodate the pot of lilac you’ve purchased from your local nursery, plus 2-3 inches deeper. Lilacs transfer well, so go ahead and purchase a pot that has already started growing.
Otherwise, be prepared to see your lilac bushes blossom in 4 to 5 years if you’re growing them from seed – they take a long time grow and produce!
Next, remove the lilac from the pot and place it in the hole you’ve dug, making sure to spread the roots out so they can begin to settle.
Work some topsoil into the hole, making sure to cover the roots. Then, you’ll want to water the hole so that the roots have enough water to soak in. 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 that they need to thrive.
They will need fertile, alkaline soil, so make sure you’ve planted them in quality soil.
TIP: Lilacs actually prefer “sweet” soil or rather, soil that is not too acidic. To ensure that your soil isn’t overly acidic, use some garden lime! Just sprinkle some on top of the soil during the Fall and you’ll be good to go for next Spring.
Remember to water your tree 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 organic fertilizer for extra nutrients. Why Spring? The fertilizer will help strengthen this year’s wood, which ultimately determines the quality of next Spring’s 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.
3. DEADHEADING & PRUNING:
Pruning is very important if you want your bushes to bloom for years to come. Every year after bloom, remove the dead wood and old canes so that you’re only left with strong wood. Warning: do NOT over prune – this may disrupt blooming for a few 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!