Lilac bushes grow throughout the United States and are prized for their hearty nature and low maintenance as well as for their beautiful, fragrant flowers. Used often as an alternative to hedges for privacy and shade, lilacs are late bloomers, flowering for about two weeks in the late Spring or early Summer, depending on the variety.
Lilacs belong to the olive family, Oleaceae.
Many people take advantage of this late bloom to extend the flowering season of their decorative gardens and borders. And few flowers, shrubs or trees can match the fragrance of lilacs in bloom.
Lilacs can live over 100 years!
Spring and fall are the best seasons to plant lilac bushes. Due to their large size and need for proper ventilation, multiple lilac bushes should be planted at least 5 feet away from each other. New bushes should be planted using a deep hole with vertical placement of the roots.
Lilac flowers are edible.
Lilacs grow well in a wide variety of soils, but do prefer a slightly higher PH level. They should not be over watered, as their roots do not do well in saturated soil.
Pruning has been a point of contention over the years, with some espousing the need to prune lilac bushes regularly through the Spring and Summer. However, most experts will tell you to prune once each season just after the bloom has ended. Pruning should be done not only for shaping, but to also for good air flow. Lilacs are hearty plants but are subject to a powdery mildew which can be combated with proper ventilation.
Cutting off the dead flowers before they have a chance to form fruit will help promote next season blooms.
Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew lilacs in their gardens.
Photo. Irina Iriser