Lilacs in May

Cherry Butler

Syringa vulgaris is is the most common lilac available in this country to grow in gardens. The common name ‘lilac’ refers to the colour but there are many available.

Ten lilac tips:

  1. One point worth noting is that if you are particular about the colour it’s a good idea to buy it in flower!
  2. Container-grown plants can be planted at any time of the year but ensure they are well watered before and after planting for several months.
  3. Lilacs can be grown in most well-drained soils and thrive in alkaline, chalky ones which is good to know.
  4. They prefer a sunny site but can be grown alone or in a mixed border.
  5. It’s a true English cottage garden plant that can be combined with other shrubs and under-planted with spring bulbs or cottage perennials.
  6. Prune immediately after flowering, removing the spent blooms and cutting to a strong pair of buds.
  7. Remove suckers when young.
  8. Syringa vulgaris can grow very large so give it room; there are smaller varieties such as Syringa microphylla which can form a compact shrub for smaller gardens.
  9. Feed with blood, fish and bone or a slow release fertilizer.
  10. Don’t forget to pick and enjoy some of the flowers inside!
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