How to plant and care for your lilac

Lilacs come from the Middle East and can be in the form of either a tree or a shrub. They catch everyone's attention with their numerous clusters of odorous flowers. Trees are more delicate than shrubs, which are usually smaller and more compact.

Lilacs come in a wide variety of colors, including blue, white and pink, and they usually flower from mid- to late May.

What lilacs need to flower properly


Lilacs require full sunlight to flower properly. They must be planted where they will get six hours of light per day. Also, they do not appreciate being planted near other trees, which could hinder their development. Lilacs are solitary plants; it's better to keep them two to three meters from other trees and foundations. They do not like to have wet roots, so you need to plant them in a place where the soil drains well. It is also recommended to protect them from cold winds.

Tips for the maintenance of lilacs


Generally, lilacs require little care and maintenance. You're thinking about buying a lilac and need to know when to plant it? You should plant your new tree or shrub in the spring or fall.

Lilacs prefer soils whose pH is neutral or slightly alkaline. Fertilize using a fertilizer that is rich in phosphorus and potassium in early spring. It is recommended to prune your plant right after it has finished flowering. At the same time, remove old, diseased or dead branches. If you also remove wilted blooms, you will allow your lilac to flower even more the following spring.

When the weather is very hot, make sure to water your plant at least once a week.

There are several harmful diseases and parasites that plague lilacs. The most common include: bacterial blight, powdery mildew, leafminer and Spanish fly.

Avoid: nitrogen-rich fertilizers, very clayey soils and poorly drained soils.

The difference between lilacs and buddleias

At left: Lilac At right: Buddleias

Did you know lilacs and buddleias, also called "butterfly bush", are often mistaken for each other? Lilacs have a greater resistance to cold than buddleias.

Buddleias grow much faster than lilacs and they can reach up to eight feet in a single season. Buddleias also adapt to all kinds of soils, including mediocre and calcareous soils.

Lilacs mainly flower towards the middle of spring, whereas buddleias flower from summer until fall. Their main similarities are their bright, colorful and odorous flowers and the fact that both plants attract butterflies.


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