Every year the time I wait for the most is when our lilacs begin to bloom. They look spectacular in purple, pink and white. I always hate it that lilac time is so short and would love to see lilacs bloom all through the summer. When I lived in Latvia where they are so common when lilac time comes everywhere you look you see lilacs in different shades. The scent wafts in the air and it makes this time seem magical.
Lilac — Family Syringa
A lilac is a deciduous, flowering shrub that is native to Europe and Asia. It is interesting that a lilac plant can be naturalized almost anywhere in the entire world if it has the right growing conditions. A lilac needs sunlight to grow and can survive in partial shade but has hindered flowering. I know that the lilacs were here in the garden before I came along and our lilacs have varying sunlight phases. Those lilacs which get the most sun also bloom wonderfully. Lilacs like to have soil that is always moist and well drain and has a high content of organic matter.
You can see the flowers of a lilac gathered in large clusters at the end of a woody stem. The period that lilacs bloom is from the middle of May through to the end of June but a lilac shrub will bloom only for a few weeks. In my garden in Latvia, there was a mixture of different lilacs and when small buds sprouted they burst forth in May but wouldn’t last until June. They do say that the blooming time for a lilac can be extended by four to six week by planting together lilacs of different species.
Good air circulation
Lilac plants require a location where there is good air circulation in the garden. For those of you who have or would like to grow lilacs bunches of lilac plants should have space between them so that they can grow out but not up.
Letting a lilac grow out increases the flowering and encourages flowering throughout the plant instead of just at the top area. If you want your lilac to flower more the next year then you should remove the spent blooms so that the lilac plant can focus its energy on creating more buds and not seeds. If pruning lilacs this should be done right after the flowering period is over and lilacs should be pruned down gradually over a period of years. If you prune too much of the lilacsat one time it can have an effect of limited flower production for up to two years.
Lilac trees are similar to bushes but they grow more upright and have a wider trunk. They can grow to a height of thirty feet and most of the time have a rounded upright shape. Japanese lilac trees are the most common lilac trees.
Japanese Lilac Trees
The Japanese lilac tree is hardy to zones three through seven. These are the zones that determine if a tree will survive from mild to harsh climates. This particular lilac has creamy, white flowers that appear in the early summer. The leaves are heart-shaped, dark green and deciduous.
Lilac Tree Flowers
The flowers on a lilac tree are similar to the ones on lilac bushes but have smaller individual blossoms. There is a limit to the range of color, only cream to pink but purple cultivars have been introduced. These blooms usually appear after the ones on the lilac bushes and will last about the same time. Lilac trees should be protected from damage that can be caused by wind and other natural sources. If damaged they take a long time to recover. The wood on lilac trees is softer, they offer fragrant blooms and can provide great shade.
When planting a lilac tree it should be planted where there is full sunlight. During pruning not too much should be removed from the lilac tree otherwise there will be a reduction in the flowering blossoms the next year. If cared for properly a lilac tree can survive for almost a hundred years.
The Chinese lilac is one of the loveliest of all lilac bushes. These lilac bushes are large, round-headed shrubs that can be a specimen or a border or screen plant. Their great floral display begins in early May. The color of the blooms is purple and the bunches of blooms are four to five inches long. The fragrant blooms cover nearly all of this lilac bush. It is hardy to zones three through seven.
The White Persian is another popular lilac bush and is adjustable to various soil conditions. Its dark green foliage looks lovely against the creamy, white blooms appearing in late spring. It is a great choice for smaller gardens and butterflies enjoy the fragrant flowers. It grows to a height of four to eight feet and is also hardy to zones three through seven.