Are there any spring-blooming shrubs with as much tradition, as many memories attached as the fragrant-flowered lilac? When you drive through the country, you can see lilac shrubs blooming around tumbled down old porch steps. You'll sometimes see lilacs standing at either side of old cemetery gates. But the lilacs we have at Shrub Source aren't your grandma's lilacs. They are re-bloomers, compact-growers, and more resistant to problems that plague older varieties. Here are our new favorite fragrant flowering shrubs.
Bloomerang® Purple Syringa is a compact blooming shrub reaching a mature height of 4-5 feet and spread of 5-6 feet. The shrubs are covered with flowers in the early spring, but the plant re-blooms in the summer and keeps blooming until frost. They're hardy in zones 3-7 and are resistant to powdery mildew and root rot.
This deer-resistant re-blooming lilac starts the show in early spring with tightly-closed plum purple flower buds that open to fragrant flowers beloved by butterflies and hummingbirds. Keep these shrubs looking their best by giving them a light pruning after they bloom. Fertilize after the spring bloom to encourage reblooming later in the summer.
A truly unique lilac, Scent and Scensibilty™ Pink Syringa, has a compact, mounding growth habit with a height of 2-3 feet and a spread of 4-6 feet. It grows best in full sun in moist, well-drained soil. It will re bloom sporadically throughout the summer, but not as reliably as the Bloomerang® lilacs.
Lilac Care and Maintenance
If you have older lilacs, the way to keep them blooming beautifully is through renewal pruning. This is the practice of removing one third of the old growth back to the ground each year.
Keeping lilacs pruned helps promote airflow and reduces problems with powdery mildew.
Newer varieties benefit from light pruning for shape after the spring bloom and application of a liquid fertilizer. Always plant in full sun and well-drained soils to avoid problems with root rot.
Deadhead (remove spent flowers after bloom) to encourage re-blooming.
Still grows the vivacious lilac a generation after the door and lintel and the sill are gone, unfolding its sweet-scented flowers each spring, to be plucked by the musing traveller; planted and tended once by children's hands, in front-yard plots,--now standing by wall-sides in retired pastures, and giving place to new-rising forests;Mthe last of that stirp, sole survivor of that family.
~Henry David Thoreau