Syringa vulgaris: common lilac
Lilac bushes are an upright shrub that range between 4 feet to 15 feet high (1.2m to 5m) with large clusters of single or double-headed blooms or star florets. Lilacs are known for the wonderful scent their blooms produce but some of the fancier hybrids have lost their scent so choose carefully before you purchase your plant.
- They bloom from late spring to late summer, depending on the variety.
- There are hundreds of varieties to choose from.
- The blooms range in colour from dark purple, pinks, whites, yellows and even bluish tints.
- Some varieties even have multi-coloured blooms like purple blooms rimmed with white.
- The most common varieties have heart-shaped, dark green leaves but there are many different shapes to choose from such as oval or fern-like leaves and even yellow leaves.
- Most lilacs produce suckers each spring that you can use to propagate more shrubs.
There are a few varieties that don’t produce any suckers such as “Miss Helen Wilmott” so again, inquire before you buy. Most garden centers carry the most common, hardy varieties.
- Lilacs need lots ofto grow well. If it’s too shady they won’t receive enough to make them flower properly.
- Lack of good light will also allow a white mildew to develop on their leaves.
- Applying mulch around the base of lilacs will help to keep weeds down.
- Pruning will help keep your shrubs healthy and allowto circulate through the branches.
- Older lilacs, too, can be greatly improved with a good pruning that will enhance their size and shape.