Lilac love is in the air

Tue. May. 7, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Lilac love is in the air

Lilac love is in the air

Oh the lilacs have budded out and soon that wonderful fragrance will waft through, I hope, open windows!  Here’s to a sunny day with a warm breeze!

A LONG time ago I lived on a hobby farm where the lilacs were about 12 feet thick, about 12 feet tall and surrounded the house.  Truth is, they CAN get out of hand as many of us know how easily they spread but, boy, the joy when those buds open and we finally smell the sweet fragrance of Spring!  

overgrown lilac photo by Angie’s Roost

There are many newish cultivars from those common lilacs of old including a repeat bloomer series called Bloomerang. The newest in the bloomerang gang is a dwarf version called ‘Dwarf Purple’.  

Lilac ‘Dwarf Purple’ by Proven Winners

It grows to just 3 feet tall and wide and blooms in the Spring and then again through Summer and into Fall.  

Lilacs are hardy to zone 3 and actually dig our climate better than warm weather.  They need the cold period to bloom better! Lilacs are rarely bothered by disease or pests and even deer aren’t that interested in them!  I had some damage from the roof shingles that were hurled off our home while getting a new ones!  (stuff happens)

After it blooms, I’ll be giving this one a hard pruning!


While sometimes pruning the runners can be annoying, their bloom is worth it! If you’ve got yourself a lilac that you think you’d like to prune back, you can.  But prune immediately after its spring bloom.

This will give it time to come back and be prepared for next years bloom time!  You can cut back lilacs by a third. Plant in full sun. The Arnold Arboretum at Harvard offers some specific care on getting the best bloom and renewing old lilacs.

How to make old lilacs bloom again by The Hypertufa Gardener

Pruning lilacs by Fine Gardening magazine