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June 2010
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Colorful, Fragrant Lilacs: characteristics, growing conditions and care that should be taken.

Lilacs are among the most popular garden plants—and for good reasons. Besides being easy to grow, the variety of plant sizes, flower colors, and bloom times creates a colorful and fragrant display over many weeks in the spring. Once they are established lilac plants can grow for hundreds of years.

Characteristics of Lilacs

– Lilacs are one of the most aromatic flowers, and by far one of the most beautiful.
– Lilac shrubs are deciduous, woody shrubs that loose their foliage during the winter but keep their woody stems.
– Lilacs have a stronger scent that carries quite a distance.
– The best places to grow lilacs are in the north, especially the northeast.
– Lilacs are best planted in spring, as soon as the soil has thawed and is workable.
– Do not plant them in ground that is still soggy from melted snow.

Growing conditions for Lilacs

– Lilacs bloom for only a very brief couple weeks in the spring.
– Most lilacs require about 1,000 hours below 50 degrees F (10°C) to trigger the development of their flower buds, and they’ll put up with far more cold weather than that.
– Lilacs need sun, at least four hours a day.
– Lilacs need space.
– Lilacs need well-drained soil.
– Lilacs will not grow in soggy soil.
– Provided it is well drained, virtually any soil will do, from slightly acidic to quite alkaline.
– ph should be around 7.5.

How to plant Lilacs

– Planting seedling lilac bushes are very easy to do.
– Locate the appropriate position keeping in mind the above growing tips.
– Dig your spot about 1 foot deep, and then about 5 feet apart from the next plant. Most varieties of lilac have around a 5 foot spread.
– Amend the soil so that it is well aerated.
– Water the plant, keeping it moist during the growing season,
– Lilacs are easiest to grow from summer greenwood cuttings or by layering green stems.

Care for Lilacs

– No need to provide frequent fertilizer or organic feeding for your lilacs.
– A general purpose fertilizer in early spring or one high in Phosphorous to promote blooming.
– Too much nitrogen in the soil will result in poor blooms.

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