Lilac are a small tree or bush that has a wonderful strong scent that carries in warmer climates to fill the garden with a wonderful perfume. White or pink to purple flowers from spring to summer, this is a plant that can also be grown as a standard if desired. The botanical name is Syringa and it does include a number of garden worthy varieties.
Lilacs prefer a humus rich moist, but well drained soil. They do well in full sun and once established are relatively maintenance free.
Mulch lilacs well and water deeply during very dry spells.
Old Lilac bushes or trees may need some sever pruning if they have been neglected, try removing all dead and damaged wood to start with and then remove 1/3 of the remaining stems, start with the oldest. Over 3-4 years you will have a healthy rejuvenated Lilac.
Dwarf cultivars are also available, (picture right)
Pruning of lilac bushes can be carried out after flowering, light pruning maintains shape. The French lilacs are Syringa vulgaris and they can handle heavy pruning. Each year prune away 1/3 of the oldest stems, generally in June in Australia. Leave around 8 – 12 main canes. Prune back to around 30cm less than the desired height each year just after flowering for a second flush of flowers.
The tree lilac are pruned back to one main stem.
Lilac varieties include: Syringa vulgaris, S. x hyacinthiflora, S. x prestoniae, S. reticulata, S. pekinensis, S. x chinensis, S. pinnatifolia, S. x ‘Albida’, French Lilac, Russian Lilac, Fragrant lilac.
Available for sale from the following nurseries
'Justly famous for rare and unusual plants' Don Teese
34 Mt Pleasant Rd Monbulk VIC 3793
P O Box 398 Creswick Vic 3363
Retail & Mail Order Specialist Growers of Heritage Roses, Unusual Perennials, Tree & Herbaceous Peonies. Mail order and Nursery Sales.
357 Monbulk Road SILVAN VIC 3795
Guaranteed "garden worthy" bulbs, plants and perennials. Visit the website to browse our large range of daffodils or request the latest free catalogue.