Lilac is a popular flowering plant, known for its large panicle inflorescence and scented flowers. Of all its species, the dwarf Korean lilac is preferred for its manageable size, attractive hollow stem, and fragrant blooms. It is represented by the scientific name Syringa meyeri 'palibin', of which the species name is coined in honor of Frank Meyer, who discovered this plant in Beijing. While it is commonly grouped under shrubs and bushes, many considered it as a small tree.
Being a native of China and Korea, this lilac variety grows to a height of about 4 - 8 feet, and measures 5 feet or more in width. It spreads profusely with multiple stems, but the plant shape is more or less round. As aforementioned, the stem is smooth and dark brown in color. Being a deciduous bush by growth habit, its dark green, small-sized foliage turns yellowish in autumn and sheds during cold winter months. The richly fragrant, pinkish-lavender flowers, borne in a long panicle inflorescence, have a long shelf life. In peak blooming period, they cover the whole plant, thus creating a scenic view in the flower garden.
Growing Dwarf Korean Lilac
Considered perfect for growing in USDA hardiness zones 3 - 7, the cultural requirements for maintaining this bush include normal-to-moist well-drained soil, and part-to-full sunlight exposure. It adapts in a broad range of soil pH, from acidic (pH 5.5) to slightly alkaline soil (pH 7.5). If your garden soil meets these required factors, you can surely enjoy its heavy blooms. Refer to the following gardening basics for growing one in your yard.
Growing this type of lilac bush is best done in spring, when the temperature is neither too cold nor too hot. You can purchase plantlets propagated from root cuttings. Select a sunlit area that receives at least 6 hours sunlight everyday. Prepare garden soil such that it is moist and does not have drainage problems. Make holes in soil, and follow the simple planting steps as you do for any type of flowering shrub.
Water the newly planted bush regularly, and do not leave the top soil dry for many days. Stringent care is expected in the first few weeks of plantation, before the plant establishes to the soil and growing conditions. When the same is achieved, it grows well even with least attention. It is a slow-growing plant variety; do not expect it to develop fully, within one year of plantation.
It requires pruning immediately after the first flowering season is over. Pruning the older branches with spent blooms is crucial to induce the production of fresh flower buds. By doing so, you can enjoy lavender pink blooms again in the fall. While pruning this bush, use pruning clippers, and trim one-third of the crowded old twigs to ground level. For rejuvenation of weak plants, consider trimming branches in early spring or winter.
The popularity of this tree in parks and urban garden is partly due to its tolerance to pollution effects, wind, and slight temperature fluctuations. Unlike other lilac tree varieties, this cultivar is resistant to borer and powdery mildew diseases. However, crowdedness, prolonged dry spells, or wet conditions may invite fungal diseases and insect borers. If maintained properly, it lives for more than 25 years.
Comes spring season and your dwarf Korean lilac tree will be in full bloom to beautify your landscape design. Their rich scent serves as an attractant to butterflies and bees. Also, you can cut the long flower stalks for use in floral arrangements. With so many positive attributes and no major problems, this plant has now become a popular garden plant for home gardens.