Valued for its fragrant inflorescences and majestic bearing, this small deciduous shrub marvellously brightens up gardens with its beautiful colours that last as long as the spring. Easy to grow, lilac has a few requirements which must be met for a successful outcome. 

Always associated with spring, lilac is a shrub that comes in many varieties. Very fragrant, this species’ flowers may be single or double. With its magnificent, delicately coloured inflorescences, lilac is a bush that is particularly suitable for flower beds and flowering hedges. For smaller spaces, however, some smaller varieties are available to grow in containers or on a balcony. Of course, lilac may well be associated with other ornamental plants that bear colourful flowers in order to create more contrast. Nevertheless, this small, somewhat erratic shrub must absolutely have sufficient space to thrive. Consequently, if your garden is not very large, do not associate lilac to other species. This way, when it will grow, it will be much more likely to spread out, fully thrive and adorn your garden with its magnificent inflorescences.

Planting lilac 

When choosing your seedling, select a potted lilac of which the roots are protected by burlap. Likewise, make sure it has about eight branches and that its roots are already well established in the clump. Lilac grown in containers can be planted from spring to fall because of its very efficient rooting. Before putting them in the ground, choose a corner of the garden that is well exposed to sunshine. Regarding land, three conditions are essential for a myour lilac, simply dig a one-foot hole and install the seedling as gently as possible. The root ball should be moistened beforehand, so as not to damage the roots. The land can then be enriched with suitable organic fertilizer. In the event that the roots are bare, do not wait too long before planting. Also, early in the spring, you will shorten the most developed roots prior to putting the young sapling in the ground. In addition, it is also recommended to add compost to the soil for best results.

Maintaining lilac 

After being planted, the young shrub should be watered regularly for a few weeks. During its early years, it should be provided with enough water in summer to stimulate root growth. However, watering it too frequently before the start of the summer should be avoided so as not to cause the plant’s death. Easy to maintain, lilac does not require much care once it has been planted. The only real precautions to take are ensuring that the seedling has a regular annual supply of organic fertilizer, and always making sure that the shrub is thoroughly trimmed after flowering is complete in order to stimulate bud renewal and favour a good growing season. Also remember that it is advisable to maintain your lilac throughout the season by removing dead leaves, withered flowers and dried out branches. Furthermore, be extremely careful not to remove the young buds that will bloom the following spring. Finally, know that lilacs can often fall victim to cochineal, a small insect of the aphid genus that attacks the shrub’s sap. To fight against this insect, the most effective method remains insecticide, which will need to be sprayed on leaves, stems and branches.

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Published in Flowering shrubs by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011