Grow lilacs not just for the old song, but because these colorful trees and shrubs have a delightful fragrance and also attract butterflies to add to their charm. In addition lilacs are hardy and easy to grow. Little maintenance is required making this a great choice for any garden. I found an article on the Old Farmer’s Almanac website which gives further details on planting, aftercare and pruning.

Who doesn?t love lilacs? The ideal lilac shrub has about 10 canes and produces flowers at eye-level?all the better to enjoy that sweet, haunting?fragrance.
Lilacs do come in seven colors but most are familiar with the common lilac, Syringa vulgaris, which blooms in the northern states for 2 weeks in late May. However, there are early-, mid-, and late-season lilacs, which, when grown together, ensure a steady bloom for at least 6?weeks.
Lilacs are hardy, easy to grow, and low maintenance. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet tall, depending on the variety. The fragrant flowers are good for cutting and attractive to?butterflies.


  • Grow lilacs in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil (at a pH near 7.0). If your soil is in poor condition, add compost to?enrich.
  • Select a site where your lilac will get full sun?at least 6 hours. If lilacs don?t get enough sun, they will not bloom?well.
  • Make sure the site drains well. Lilacs don?t like wet feet and will not bloom with too much?water.
  • Plant in either spring or fall, although the latter is?preferred.
  • If you?re lucky, a friend will give you a sucker, or offshoot, of the root system of one of his plants. Your sucker will look pathetic at first but just dig a hole, backfill it with soil, and stick the sucker in. Then water and wait. In 4 or 5 years, you?ll be rewarded with huge, fragrant?blossoms.
  • Transplanting lilacs from a nursery is also easy. If it?s container-grown, spread out the roots as you settle the plant into the ground; if it?s balled or burlapped, gentle remove it and any rope before planting.?Set the plant 2 or 3 inches deeper than it grew in the?nursery, and work topsoil in around the roots. Water in. Then fill in the hole with more?topsoil.
  • Space multiple lilac shrubs 5 to 15 feet apart, depending on the?variety.

See more at the Old Farmer’s Almanac


  1. I have started 2 from the house I grew up in. One started about 5 years ago and the other last year. Neither one are growing taller or blooming, however they do green up in the spring. What can I do to improve their quality?

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