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Lilac Bush Care

Tips for Good Care And Maintenance of Lilac Bushes

Classified under low maintenance plants, the basic lilac bush caring is very easy. The tricks for growing healthy ones are to select sunny area, prepare soil, and maintain adequate spacing between the plants.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Lilac flowers look stunning and smell great, thus making them a preferred choice for home gardeners. When they are in full bloom, you simply can't resist their fragrance, and the sight of lovely blooms developed in large panicles. Lilac bush (Syringa vulgaris) shares the same family Oleaceae, with jasmine, forsythia, and olive. With more than 20 species available, you can choose any of them for planting in your flower garden.
Growth Requirements
Most of the lilac varieties used for landscaping have a maximum height of 4 - 8 feet, and spreads to about 5 feet or more. However, with some of these growing to more than 25 feet, they are sometimes regarded as trees. Visit your local nursery center, and inquire about hybrid varieties that are resistant to diseases and pest problems. Mentioned below are required factors for growing healthy varieties.

Planting Time Spring
Ideal Location Plain and slightly elevated areas (but not lowlands)
Sunlight Exposure Partial to full sun (at least 6 hours sunlight daily)
Preferred Soil Type Moist and well-drained soil
Soil pH Range Slightly acidic to neutral soil (ideally pH 6 - 7)
Watering Frequency Moderate irrigation
Pruning Prune once in a year
Care and Maintenance
Like other shrubs and bushes, lilac plant serves as an excellent barrier for creating privacy and protecting properties. Being a sturdy plant, caring for it comes naturally to gardening enthusiasts. Even if you want to change the location of an existing one, you can proceed with the same in autumn, when the environment temperature is not warm. Following are some care-related aspects that you should consider:
Watering
For this woody flowering plant, the frequency of irrigation, and the amount of water supplied in each watering session solely depend on the climatic condition. In windy and dry areas, less frequent but deep watering is necessary to keep the soil moist. With the arrival of cold winter months, reduce irrigation to avoid excess soil moisture. The point is not to over water the plant, as it increases the risk for disease infestation.
Pruning
Pruning lilac bushes annually is useful to maintain shape, and induce production of new blooms in fall. The ideal pruning time is after spring, or when the blooming period is over. With the help of sharp clippers, remove the twigs with spent blooms at the base. You can also prune down overcrowded branches to increase sunlight penetration and air circulation to inner ones.
Transplanting
Before uprooting this plant, decide the new area, and prepare soil by making a large hole and nutrient supplementation (if required). For uprooting, dig soil around the main stem, ensuring that you are not injuring the primary roots. While placing it in the hole, retain some adhering soil, and spread out the roots. Refill soil and press tightly to remove air pockets. Water your transplanted lilac bush regularly for quick establishment.
Mulching around the Bush
With an objective of controlling invading weeds, most hobbyists prefer mulching around lilac bush. A layer of 2 - 4 inch thick garden mulch is perfect for this purpose. It not only helps in weed control but also serves as an effective way to conserve soil moisture. In addition, work some farmyard compost and humus components to increase water holding capacity of soil.
Diseases
If your lilac tree is under stressful conditions such as wet soil, excess watering, less sunlight, etc., they are susceptible to fungal attacks and insects. Commonly reported diseases include powdery mildew, bacterial blight, and virus ring spot. Take disease and pest control measures for prompt treatment of plant problems.
In case you have planted disease-resistant varieties, the likeliness of pathogen infestation and insect attacks is low. Indeed, planting improved cultivars will save your time and effort in the long run. Adopt the aforementioned tips, and enhance the aesthetic value of your landscape design, with lovely blooms in spring. When maintained properly, they beautify the yard for a lifetime (for about 25 - 30 years).
Lilacs Over the Fence