Saturday, March 19, 2011

Old-Fashioned Lilacs Growing Tips

Grow old-fashioned lilac's and you will enjoy fragrant flowers every spring.  This spring blooming flowering shrub will grow in your yard for many generations provided that you meet it's growing requirements.  

I grow old-fashioned lilacs, one was planted in 1938.  The other lilac shrub was bought several years ago from  When I received it from the online nursery the size of the lilacs was only two feet tall. Currently it is 5 feet tall with similar spread and many new shoots.

I love my lilacs and in the spring when the flowers bloom the fragrance is wonderful.   I enjoy opening all of the windows on a warm spring day to allow the lilac scent to freshen my home.

Here is a card that I designed at my zazzle shop, I used a photograph of my old fashioned lilacs when they were in full bloom.  This spring blooming flowering shrub is a focal point in my yard and garden.

Gardening Tips

  1. You can grow the old-fashioned lilac as a flowering hedge and it will provide privacy as the lilac will grow to 15 feet in height with a 12 foot spread.   
  2. Select a growing site that offers sun to part sun with well drained soil.  The roots of the lilac are deep and prefer to not be wet so plant on the top of a hill or in and area where the water drains well. 
  3. Plant the old-fashioned lilac in the spring after the threat of frost has past.  
  4. If you purchase a lilac from the nursery gently remove from the container.  Hydrate the roots by filling a large bucket with tepid water.  
  5. Set the lilac root ball in the water for a half hour.  While the roots are hydrating prepare your planting site. 
  6. Loosen the soil with your shovel and work compost or manure into the soil.  
  7. Dig a hole that is the same depth and width as the lilac container. 
  8. Plant the lilac when it is hydrated.  Set the root ball in the center hole and fill the hole up with soil.  
  9. Water well.

Hand pull weeds then apply 4 inches of mulch

Caring for lilacs

  1. Keep the growing site weed free.  Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the base of the lilac.  
  2. The mulch will help to retain moisture and discourage weed growth.  
  3. In mid spring remove the mulch and apply compost or manure around your lilac shrub. 
  4. Reapply the mulch after you add the compost or manure. 
  5. Fertilize the lilac annually in spring with all-purpose fertilizer. 
Other Garden Tips 

The Old-Fashioned Lilac is easy to grow.  If the summer is hot and humid you may see aphids  treat with organic pesticide or release 1500 ladybugs into yard.  Ladybugs are a natural way to remove aphids from your garden.  

  • Remove spent flowers
  • Prune or shape annually after lilac has flowered
  • Butterflies and hummingbirds will visit your yard when the lilacs bloom
  • Hardy in growing zones 3-7 

Learn how to trim lilac flowering shrubs by viewing video at



    Nancycarol said...

    I just love Lilacs, they remind me of when I was a child and went to my Aunt's house to visit. She had a big beautiful shrub, and we always managed to go there when it was in bloom. Such a wonderful smell! Great blog on Old-fashioned lilacs.

    SusanG said...

    Nancy: I love the Old-Fashioned Lilac also; they remind me of my childhood. Lilacs bloomed all over my neighborhood and I was a flower-child and would pick my mom a bouquet. I loved to see her excitement when I handed her the flowers. She would arrange the flowers in a crystal vase from Ireland and then would set them on the dining room table; the entire house would be fragrant from the heavenly scent. (Whenever I brought my mom flowers they would make her very happy and she would always make a chocolate dessert)

    kittycooks said...

    Lilacs bloom right after Mothers Day here in MN. I love the fragrance of the old fashioned purple lilac too.

    SusanG said...

    Lilacs bloom the first part of May here in Missouri...although the weather has been unusually warm and noticed that my lilacs have small buds, so maybe they will be early bloom this year. I hope we don't get a spring frost.

    PMBenfield said...

    My mom has two huge lilacs. One is dark purple and one is light purple. I enjoyed the video on how to prune them... I am the one who always has to do it and I learned something from this.