Tips for Growing Lilacs

Best tips for planting and growing lilacs in your flower garden.

For beautiful spring flowers with fragrance nothing beats the old fashioned lilac. Here are some tips on how to grow lilacs like your grandmother did.

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Lilacs grow best in parts of the country that experience a winter freeze. In areas where it doesn’t freeze they may fail to bloom. Check for varieties specially bred for warmer climates.


Plant lilacs where they will receive at least 5 to 6 hours of full sun. Late April or early May and late September into October are the best planting times.


The soil should be slightly alkaline. Lilacs need soil with good drainage.


Related ArticleWhen to Cut Back Lilacs: Tips and Tricks for Pruning Success


Most lilacs grow into large bushes so space them about 10 feet apart.


Mulch lilacs with 3 inches of wood chips or bark. This will help to conserve water and prevent lawn mower and trimmer damage.


Allow a new plant 2 or 3 years to start blooming. Once established a lilac bush will bloom for years. Many are over 100 years old.


The plants should be fertilized in early spring and immediately after flowering.


Prune lilacs when they are finished blooming. Lilacs form their buds for next years blooms the summer before. Remove about one fourth of stems. Prune off any dead or dying limbs. To rejuvenate an older bush prune out one-third of the oldest stems at the base of the plant.


For any disease or insect problems contact your local extension office.


For more on feeding and care of lilacs and shrubs visit:, Marilyn Pokorney is a freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment. She also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.


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Best tips for planting and growing lilacs in your flower garden.

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