Different types of lilacs


Common Lilac Varieties: What Are Different Types Of Lilac Bushes

When you think about lilacs, the first thing that comes to mind is their sweet fragrance. As beautiful as its flowers are, the fragrance is the most cherished attribute. Read on to find out about the characteristics of the different types of lilac bushes.

Common Lilac Varieties

Horticulturists have cross bred the 28 species of lilac so extensively that even the experts sometimes have trouble telling lilac plant types apart. Even so, some species have attributes that might make them better suited to your garden and landscape. Here are some different types of lilacs that you might want to consider for your garden:

  • Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) – For most people, this lilac is the most familiar. The flowers are lilac-colored and have a strong fragrance. Common lilac grows to a height of about 20 feet.
  • Persian lilac (S. persica) – This variety grows 10 feet tall. The flowers are pale lilac in color, and about half the diameter of common lilacs. Persian lilac is a good choice for an informal hedge.
  • Dwarf Korean lilac (S. palebinina) – These lilacs grow only 4 feet tall and make a good informal hedge plant. The flowers resemble those of common lilac.
  • Tree lilacs (S. amurensis) – This variety grows into a 30-foot tree with off-white flowers. Japanese tree lilac (S. amurensis ‘Japonica’) is a type of tree lilac with unusual, very pale yellow flowers.
  • Chinese lilac (S. chinensis) – This is one of the best varieties to use as a summer screen or hedge. It grows quickly to reach a height of 8 to 12 feet. Chinese lilac is a cross between common lilacs and Persian lilacs. It is sometimes called Rouen lilac.
  • Himalayan lilac (S. villosa) – Also called late lilac, this type has rose-like blossoms. It grows as tall as 10 feet. Hungarian lilac (S. josikaea) is a similar species with darker flowers.

These common lilac varieties are only grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 or 4 through 7 because they need freezing winter temperatures to break dormancy and produce flowers.

Beset by lilac envy, a Southern California horticulturist developed varieties of lilac called Descanso hybrids. These hybrids grow and bloom reliably despite the warm winters of Southern California. Among the best of the Descanso hybrids are:

  • ‘Lavender Lady’
  • ‘California Rose’
  • ‘Blue Boy’
  • ‘Angel White’

Lilacs: Plant Care and Collection of Varieties

Classic spring-flowering shrubs, lilacs produce abundant, colorful flower clusters with a sweet, memorable fragrance.

About lilacs
Lilacs are hardy, easy care plants, and the fragrant flowers are good for cutting and attractive to butterflies. Flower colors include blue, lavender, pink, red, purple, yellow, and white, depending on the variety. Most lilacs grows 5 to 15 feet tall and wide, depending on variety.

Special features of lilacs
Easy care/low maintenance
Good for cut flowers
Attracts butterflies

Choosing a site to grow lilacs
Select a site with full sun and moist, well-drained soil.

Planting Instructions
Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 5 to 15 feet apart, depending on variety. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you’ve removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don’t amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly.

Ongoing Care
Apply a layer of compost under the plant each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Prune lilacs immediately after flowering, removing dead and broken branches, then cutting back as necessary to maintain the desired size and shape. Overgrown lilacs can be pruned back by as much as one third.

You can catch a whiff of their fragrance even from a distance. Lilac flowers are among the most spectacular flowers you can grow in your garden.

Lilac flowers belong to the Oleaceae family and is a genus of about 20 to 25 flowering species with over 1,000 varieties of lilac bushes. They can survive hundreds of years and can withstand winter temperatures of -60ºF. These beautiful and aromatic flowers originated from Eastern Europe and Asia.

The settlers brought them to the U.S. in the 17th century and were grown in the country’s first botanical gardens. Two of The Founding Fathers, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were said to have grown them in their gardens.

Arroyo Grande Lilac (Ceanothus impressus var. nipponensis)

Best grown in zones 8-10, this lilac grows densely and in a round habit, reaching up to eight feet high and ten feet wide. It has stunning dark blue flowers and dark brown stems with wrinkled, oval-shaped, dark green leaves. Once the plant is established, it can withstand even the driest conditions, making it a great option for coastal gardens. It is also very fragrant, and it thrives in soil that is sandy and dry. In fact, it does best in dry climates when it’s hot outside, and it is salt-tolerant as well.

Autumnal Blue (Ceanothus)

With its massive clusters of beautiful sky blue flowers, this lilac is absolutely breathtaking and is strong, upright, and sure to catch the attention of everyone who comes near it. It has leaves that are glossy and bright green in color, making them a perfect complement to the flowers. The Autumnal Blue grows up to ten feet wide and ten feet high, and because of its beauty and uniqueness it has won several international flower awards. One of the flower’s characteristics is that hummingbirds, birds, and butterflies love it, while deer tend to stay away from it.

Beauty of Moscow (Syringa vulgaris)

With delicate pink buds and eye-catching double white-colored petals, this type of lilac is a strong grower and smells magnificent. A beautiful specimen shrub, the Beauty of Moscow grows up to twelve feet high and eight feet wide, and it is perfect for zones 3-7. It also has beautiful dark green leaves that perfectly complement its petals.

Bloomerang Dark Purple (Syringa)

Perfect for zones 3-7, this lilac grows up to six feet tall and six feet wide, and it has beautiful lilac petals that bloom in the spring and again in summer and fall. It is best not to trim them until after the spring bloom, and if you do trim them at the proper time, it will form more beautiful flowers right on the wood.

Charles Joly (Syringa vulgaris)

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Introduced in the late 1800s, this lilac is one of the most popular types of French lilacs. Its double petals are magenta in color and smell fantastic, and it grows up to twelve feet tall and ten feet wide. They make an excellent informal screen, due to their suckering characteristic, and they have buds that are deep purple and which perfectly complement the color of the petals.

Concha (Ceanothus)

Blooming in late spring to early summer, this award-winning flower consists of dozens of clusters of deep blue flowers that open from purplish-red buds. The petals sit on elegant, arching stems that get up to eight feet tall and can transform anyone’s garden into a beautiful sea of blue. A very reliable and sturdy plant, the Concha has won several international flower awards and makes a perfect border for the side of a wall. It is also attractive to birds and hummingbirds, as well as butterflies.

Dark Star (Ceanothus)

A spreading evergreen shrub with clusters of flowers that are dark blue in color, it has tiny, dark green leaves with eye-catching veins that perfectly complement the flowers. It has won several international flower awards and grows up to six feet tall and ten feet wide. Best if pruned after it flowers, this lilac looks beautiful in coastal gardens and shrub borders, and it appreciates afternoon shade in areas that have particularly hot summers. The Dark Star also attracts birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and is very easy to grow.

El Dorado (Ceanothus)

One thing that makes this lilac unique is its leaves, which are two-toned in both lime green and dark green throughout each petal. Growing up to ten feet high and ten feet wide, this type of lilac has small blue flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. It is graceful-looking and deer-resistant, and it looks great as a specimen plant or as a hedge, border, or screen. It is tolerant to heat and drought conditions, and it prefers soil with average moisture but which is also well-drained.

Gloire de Versailles (Ceanothus x delileanus)

This type of lilac is very round and sturdy, and its petals are powder blue in color and very fragrant. Resistant to both deer and salt, the plant grows up to five feet wide and five feet tall, and thrives in full sun and well-drained, medium-moisture soil. They have beautiful reddish stems and leaves that are oval and light green in color, making them a perfect complement to the light blue petals. After they bloom, they grow red berries in beautiful clusters, which is one of the reasons why they have won several international flower awards.

Marie Simon (Ceanothus x pallidus)

Blooming from summer through fall, this type of lilac is unique in that its petals are a soft baby pink in color. Its red stems hold large, oval-shaped, dark green leaves, and it grows up to five feet high and five feet wide. Deer-resistant but attractive to butterflies, the Marie Simon is beautiful in a mixed border and small gardens, and even though it is good to cut it back in the spring to help it keep its shape, it is still a very easy plant to grow. Great for zones 6-11, the plant looks best with regular irrigation, which helps it keep its beautiful shape and color.

Miss Kim (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula)

Great for growing zones 3-8, this type of lilac starts with deep purple buds that produce petals of lavender which turn to light blue. Attractive to birds and butterflies, the Miss Kim lilac looks beautiful as a specimen plant and in mixed shrub borders or hedges. Perfect for small gardens, this slow-growing plant is very fragrant and has deep green foliage that perfectly complements its petals. Growing up to eight feet tall, it does well in chalk but not in soil that is very acidic.

Palibin (Syringa meyeri)

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Also called the Dwarf Korean Lilac, this plant blooms in late spring and early summer, and it is a low-spreading deciduous plant that only grows to five feet in height. Its single petals are lilac pink in color and very fragrant, and are complemented by its dark green leaves. The plant is deer-resistant but attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies, and has won several international flower awards. It prefers soil that is alkaline to neutral and well-drained, and there are no serious concerns when it comes to insects or diseases.

Pershore Zanzibar (Ceanothus)

With pale yellow green leaves that contain dark green blotches on each petal and which turn to a rich gold later in the season, its petals are light blue in color and bloom in late spring or early summer. Even when it’s not in bloom, this plant attracts attention, and if you prune it after it flowers, it will keep its shape and size. It grows up to eight feet high and looks beautiful when used as a specimen plant, border, or hedge, as well as alongside banks and slopes. The Pershore Zanzibar is also salt- and drought-tolerant.

President Grevy (Syringa vulgaris)

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With beautiful lilac blue petals that are very fragrant and grow in clusters up to ten inches long, this French lilac blooms in mid-spring. It grows up to ten feet tall, does best in growing zones 3-7, and looks beautiful when planted with many other lilacs. Its shrubs form a multi-stemmed plant, and it makes a beautiful backdrop for other plants and flowers.

Puget Blue (Ceanothus)

The Puget Blue is one of the hardiest types of lilac plants, which is one of the reasons why it has won several international flower awards. A very dense and rounded evergreen, it has bright lavender blue petals that grow so quickly and so thick that they can obscure the leaves of the plant. With arching, ascending branches, this is an elegant-looking lilac with narrow, dark green leaves that is a magnet for hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds. Growing up to eight feet high and eight feet wide, the plant looks great as a border, hedge, or screen.

Ray Hartman (Ceanothus)

One of the largest types of lilacs, the Ray Hartman has medium blue flowers that grow up to five inches in width, and it blooms in late spring and early summer. It is heat- and drought-tolerant and therefore very low-maintenance. It also grows very fast and is very dense and upright, growing up to twenty feet in height. It can be considered both a shrub and a tree, and it has large, dark green leaves that perfectly complement the beautiful colors of the petals. A hybrid variety that has won several international flower awards, this lilac attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and looks great in coastal gardens and as a specimen plant.

Sensation (Syringa vulgaris)

The petals on this lilac are very unique, having purple-red petals that are distinctly outlined in white. They are sweetly fragranced, and they bloom in mid- to late spring. The winner of several international flower awards, these lilacs grow up to ten feet high and ten feet wide, and they prefer full sun and very fertile soil. Pruning after flowering is highly recommended, and they look spectacular as hedges or foundation plantings. They also need good air circulation at all times.

Skylark (Ceanothus)

With cerulean blue petals and glossy, fine-toothed leaves, this type of lilac grows to six feet high and twelve feet wide, and it grows so profusely that it overtakes the leaves when it’s done flowering. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun, and it requires very little water during the summer months. It can also grow in nearly every type of climate, and it looks beautiful in coastal gardens and alongside slopes and banks. The Skylark is easy to grow and even grows indoors if that’s where you want it.

Snowdance (Syringa reticulata)

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If you’re looking for a lilac tree, this is it. It grows up to eighteen feet tall and twenty feet wide, and it consists of beautiful, creamy white flowers that bloom in early summer. Because of its size, it makes a perfect shade tree, and since it is pest- and disease-free, it will last for a very long time. Hardy in zones 3-7, the Snowdance has an attractive vase shape and a wonderful, sweet aroma.

Tinkerbelle Lilac (Syringa)

This type of lilac grows beautiful wine-red flower buds in late spring, and it brings fragrance and beauty to smaller gardens. It grows up to eight feet tall, and its perfume-like scent makes it very attractive to butterflies. The Tinkerbelle Lilac is perfect for zones 3-7 and has a shape that reaches up to five feet in width. It is a beautiful tree for gardens of all sizes and types.

Trewithen Blue (Ceanothus arboreus)

With graceful, arching stems and shiny, emerald green leaves, this type of lilac has deep blue petals that have a wonderful aroma. The shrubs are very large, reaching up to twenty feet tall and twenty-five feet wide, and they prefer full sun and well-drained soil. The winner of several international flower awards, this plant does well as a hedge or screen, and it is a beautiful addition to any landscape. It is also deer-resistant but is much loved by hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds.

Tuxedo (Ceanothus)

With unique leaves that are shiny and almost black in color, this type of lilac has a bushy look and medium blue petals that grow in clusters up to three inches long. It grows up to eight feet high and eight feet wide, and it requires very little water. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and it looks extraordinary all year long. Great as a specimen plant or when planted in shrub borders, the Tuxedo responds well to regular pruning and blooms a little later than other types – in late summer to early fall.

Victoria (Ceanothus)

The Victoria has indigo blue petals and dark green, shiny leaves, and it is loved by birds, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Growing up to six feet tall and twelve feet wide, this type of lilac can even tolerate salt, which makes it perfect for coastal gardens. Pruning after flowering is highly recommended, and the plant grows very fast with little effort required. Great for zones 7-10, this lilac also makes a beautiful hedge or screen plant, and it usually doesn’t have a problem with deer.

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A Brilliant List of the Different Types of Lilac Bushes With Pictures

Lilacs are known for their fragrant and lovely blossoms, that bloom in spring and early summer. There are several different types of lilac bushes, out of which a few common species and varieties are explained in this article.

Lilac is a genus of about 20 to 25 species of flowering plants. The genus lilac is also known as Syringa and the plants of this genus belong to Oleaceae or the olive family. Lilacs are woody and deciduous shrubs or small trees, which can reach a height of 2 to 10 m.

The flowers are extraordinarily fragrant and beautiful, which is why lilac bushes are immensely popular for gardening and landscaping. The lilac flowers appear in large panicles from spring to early summer. They come in an array of colors, right from purple, pink, blue, burgundy, to pale yellow, creamy white, and pure white.

A Few Common Lilac Bushes

Common Lilac or French Lilac

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Common lilac or Syringa vulgaris is a widely used ornamental plant in the gardens and parks. It is a deciduous shrub, that can grow to a height of about 6 to 7 m, with heart-shaped foliage of dark green or bluish-green color. The highly fragrant flowers of common lilac can truly add warmth to any garden or landscape. Today, several cultivars of common lilac are available for gardening and landscaping purposes, which can produce blossoms of many different colors, ranging from dark lilac and mauve, to white.

Japanese Lilac

The botanical name of Japanese lilac is Syringa reticulata, which is native to the regions of Eastern Asia, Japan, Northern China, and Korea. The blossoms of Japanese lilac are known for their strong, but pleasant fragrance. This lilac shrub can reach a height of about 12 meters and is the largest species of lilac. The flowers of Japanese lilac are usually white or creamy white in color and they are produced in early summer, in broad panicles. There are three subspecies of Japanese lilac and they are known as, Syringa reticulata subsp. Reticulata., Syringa reticulata subsp. Amurensis, and Syringa reticulata subsp. Pekinensis.

Early Lilac

Early lilac or Syringa oblata is a deciduous shrub, growing to a height of about 10 to 12 feet. The blossoms are fragrant and they appear in spring. The flowers of early lilac are usually white or pale purple in color and they are borne in loose terminal panicles. The leaves are oval-shaped, and dark green or blue-green in color, but turn reddish-purple in fall.

Hungarian Lilac

Hungarian lilac is native to the regions of Eastern and Central Europe, including Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine. The botanical name of this lilac shrub is Syringa josikaea. Hungarian lilac shrub can grow to a height of about 2 to 4 m, and produce strongly fragrant blossoms of dark pink color, in early summer. Flowers are produced in slender panicles, which can be up to 15 cm long.

Meyer Lilac

Meyer lilac or Syringa meyeri is a deciduous shrub, native to northern China and northern Japan. The shrub usually grows to a height of about 4 to 8 feet, and a width of 6 to 10 feet. The pale purple or pink flowers of meyer lilac bloom in late spring. The flowers are highly fragrant. The leaves are smooth and small, and they hardly reach a length of 2 inches. This lilac shrub blooms profusely at a very young age and is ideal for landscaping.

Syringa Afghanica

Afghanistan lilac is a large deciduous shrub, characterized by dark green foliage, purplish-brown shoots, and purple to lavender-blue blossoms, that appear in long panicles. The flowers are fragrant and they usually bloom from mid to late spring.

Syringa Emodi

Also known as Himalayan lilac, it is a beautiful deciduous shrub, that produces pale purple to white flowers in early summer. The flowers of this lilac shrub is known to possess an unpleasant fragrance. The leaves are usually dark green in color and oblong to elliptic in shape. One popular variety or cultivar is syringa emodi ‘Elegantissima’, which is a vigorous deciduous shrub, with yellow and green variegated leaves and a sturdy stem.

Nodding Lilac

Syringa komarowii or nodding lilac is native to central China, and is known for its fragrant and exquisitely beautiful blossoms, the color of which can range from pink to mauve. They usually bloom in early summer, and attract a lot of butterflies, birds, and bees. The limply hung flower panicles can be 4 to 25 cm long, while the oval-oblong shaped leaves can be about 5 to 19 cm long and 2 to 7 cm broad. The shrub itself can reach a height of about 3 to 6 m, with erect, multiple branches.

Syringa Villosa

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Syringa villosa is a deciduous shrub, native to China. This shrub can attain a height of 6 to 8 feet, with ovate to oblong, simple green leaves. The flowers bloom in late spring, which is why this lilac shrub is also known by the name of late lilac. A group of hybrid, known as preston hybrids are obtained from late lilac. Late lilac is cherished for its rose-lilac to white-colored attractive and fragrant blossoms, that appear in pyramidal panicles.

Littleleaf Lilac

The botanical name of littleleaf lilac is Syringa Microphylla. It is a medium-sized deciduous shrub, with dark green-colored small, but broad foliage. The shrub can grow to a height of about 6 to 12 feet and can be upright or spreading. This lilac shrub produces long-tubed pink or purple blossoms in loose panicles, in late spring or early summer.

Syringa Pinetorum

It is a deciduous lilac shrub, native to China, and can grow to a height of about 3 m, with simple, ovate leaves, arranged alternately along the stems. The flowers are pale purple in color and are arranged in panicles. They usually bloom from May to July.

Syringa Pinnatifolia

Also known as pinnate lilac, it is a rare species of lilac shrub. Pinnate lilac is an open and upright deciduous shrub, with dark green, pinnate leaves. The leaves can be lance-shaped or ovate. The shrub displays lilac- to pink-flushed, white or ivory-colored fragrant blossoms in spring.

Syringa Protolaciniata

Another species of unusual lilac is Syringa protolaciniata, which can be distinguished by its dark green-colored imparipinnate leaves (pinnate leaves with a single leaflet at the apex). This deciduous shrub can reach a height of about 1.5 to 3 meters and produce purple to lavender-blue flowers in panicles, from April to May. This lilac shrub is native to west China.

Syringa Pubescens

Syringa pubescens is known to produce highly fragrant, pale purple flowers, that eventually become white, as they open up. There are two common subspecies of Syringa pubescens, which are known as, Syringa pubescens subsp. Patula and Syringa pubescens subsp. Microphylla. Syringa pubescens subsp. Patula ‘Miss Kim‘ is a popular cultivar, which is also known as Manchurian lilac, and is characterized by soft lavender or lavender-blue flowers and dark green velvety foliage in spring. In Autumn, the foliage color changes to burgundy. On the other hand, Syringa pubescens subsp. microphylla ‘Superba’, is a common cultivar of the subspecies Microphylla. The shrub bears single flowers of rose-pink color in spring and then again in late summer or autumn.

Syringa Sweginzowii

Also known as Chengtu lilac, this deciduous shrub or tree is native to China and is known to be one of the most beautiful lilac species. This lilac shrub is characterized by slender, arching branches and deep green, ovate leaves. The rosy-pink to mauve-colored flowers are arranged in upright panicles. The flowers have a spicy fragrance.

Syringa Tibetica

It is a small deciduous lilac tree, which can grow to a height of approximately 4 meters, with simple, elliptic green leaves. The white flowers are arranged in panicles and they bloom in June.

Syringa Tomentella

This small lilac tree is known for its remarkable sweetly-scented flowers. The tree is native to China and can attain a height of about 4 meters. The flowers can be white or deep lilac-pink in color.

Syringa Wolfii

This is a large lilac shrub, native to Manchuria and Korea. It has been cultivated in the gardens of western countries for a long time. This shrub can grow to a height of about 5 meters and produce large panicles of lilac-pink or mauve-colored flowers. The flowers are fragrant and they usually bloom in the second-half of spring. Another interesting characteristic of this lilac shrub is that its leaves turn yellow in fall.

Yunnan Lilac

Yunnan lilac or Syringa yunnanensis is an upright deciduous shrub, native to western China. The shrub produces tubular flowers, which can be dark or pale pink to nearly white in color, and are arranged in long panicles. The flowers are fragrant and they usually bloom in early summer. The leaves are green and ovate.

Common Cultivars and Hybrids

Chinese Lilac

Chinese lilac or Syringa x chinensis is a lovely and attractive lilac bush to have in a flower garden or landscape. It is a medium-sized shrub, which displays flowers of lilac-pink or purple color in the spring, usually early in the month of May. Like many other lilac bushes, the blossoms of Chinese lilac are also loved for their fragrance. It is a hybrid between S. Persica and S. Vulgaris.

Persian Lilac

Persian lilac is a hybrid variety of the Syringa laciniata and Syringa afghanica species, and is native to some Asian countries. Persian lilac plant is much shorter, as compared to other lilac bushes. It usually reaches a height of 5 to 8 feet. The Persian lilac blossoms can be dark or pale lavender, to white in color. The white Persian lilac can look really amazing with its creamy white flowers, against a background of dark-green foliage.

Beauty of Moscow

Beauty of Moscow is considered one of the most beautiful varieties of lilac. The plant usually grows to a height of 10 to 12 feet. ‘Beauty of Moscow’ is a favorite lilac among gardeners, basically for its beautiful delicate blossoms of pale pink or white color. The pearl-like pink-colored buds gradually become snowy white, as they open up. The flowers are also known for their sweet fragrance.

Dwarf Korean Lilac

This lilac cultivar is very popular among gardeners, for its delightfully scented, lavender-pink blossoms. This shrub can bloom profusely at quite an early age. The shrub usually blooms in April to May, and is known to be quite tolerant to pollution.

Charles Joly Lilac

Charles Joly is an extremely popular hybrid of French lilac, which produces highly fragrant, deep purple or magenta flowers. Charles Joly is a strong and upright shrub, that can grow to 10 to 12 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide.

Agincourt Beauty Lilac

Agincourt Beauty is cherished for its highly fragrant and gorgeous purple-colored blossoms, that bloom in spring. Agincourt Beauty is a dense shrub with an upright stem, and heart-shaped foliage of bluish-green color. The flowers are single and borne in clusters, and each floret is quite large. The unparalleled beauty of this lilac has made it one of the favorite lilacs for landscaping.


Evangeline lilac or Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Evangeline’ is a tall deciduous shrub, which displays double flowers of lavender-purple color, produced in conical clusters. The leaves are heart-shaped and bluish-green in color. Evangeline is an early and profuse bloomer. It usually blooms a week or more before the common lilac.

No matter what kind of lilac you choose to grow, just keep in mind that almost all lilac plants need full sun to bloom profusely. Lilac plants prefer alkaline, lighter, and well-drained soil. As far as pruning is concerned, this can be done at the end of the blooming season. With proper care, lilac bushes can bloom prolifically to add beauty and warmth to your garden.

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Lilac (genus: Syringa) is a deciduous shrub that’s most known for its pleasing fragrance and lilac colored flowers. There are literally hundreds of different varieties of lilacs, ranging in color from deep purple and lilac (hence the name), to white and pink. And from pleasingly fragrant, to not at all fragrant, to downright unpleasant smelling (Japanese tree lilac). Often when purchasing a lilac the blooms are not open, so it’s impossible to tell whether it will be fragrant, and what color the blossoms will be. If you do your research ahead of time, though, you can identify some varieties you want.

Here we’ll take a closer look at some of the things you should consider when purchasing lilacs.


Of course, the fragrance alone is reason enough for some people to purchase lilacs. The exact aroma will depend on the variety of lilac you choose. With that said, however, you can expect most varieties to posses a strong, fresh fragrance that some people compare to a mixture of lavender and wild berries. You can use cut lilacs indoors to create a pleasing aroma in the atmosphere.

So, which lilacs are the most fragrant? Within the most common species, S. vulgaris (common lilac), here is a list of 5 cultivars that are fragrant and readily available. Since the species has over 800 cultivars, there are many other fragrant species beyond these 5, but there are also some that have no fragrance at all.

Syringa vulgaris ‘Ellen Willmott’

Syringa vulgaris ‘President Lincoln’

Syringa vulgaris ‘Victor Lemoine’

Syringa vulgaris ‘Congo’

Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’

S. patula is another fragrant variety with a very popular cultivar, ‘Miss Kim’, that is usually smaller than the species.


Another thing you’ll want to consider when purchasing a lilac is the color. Think about where you intend to use it and how the color will affect the surroundings. For instance, if you intend on transplanting it into your garden, then you’ll likely want to choose a color that’s going to blend in with your other Spring blooming plants. On the other hand, if you intend on using the lilac indoors as a decorative flower, you can choose a more diverse color for greater visibility inside your home.

Lilacs are wonderful shrubs that are very easy to grow. They thrive in cooler climates, which is why one doesn’t see them in the southern states. So, if you want to give your garden a fresh new look and smell, try planting some lilacs. Just remember to choose one of the fragrant varieties.

Lilacs are an old-house staple; new varieties like Bloomerang Purple have a longer growing season. (Photo: Courtesy of Proven Winners)

Lilacs’ romantic looks and honeyed fragrance evoke Victorian gardens and sumptuous bouquets. In full spring glory, the soft, panicled blooms of lavender, purple, white, or pink bedeck the bushy shrubs, inspiring ooohs and ahhs. If only the show lasted longer: After just two weeks, the flowers fade, transforming most lilacs into plain shrubs with little landscape appeal. For this reason, they’ve become unpopular with design-savvy gardeners and are grown only by diehard fans (or those who inherit them with their old houses). But this doesn’t have to be the case. A few lilacs break the mold by offering long-lasting good looks without shirking on flower quality.

Lilac Lore

The long history of lilacs is comparable only to that of roses, lilies, and tulips. The most familiar common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is a large, multi-stemmed shrub from the mountains of southeastern Europe. Its voluptuous, fragrant blossoms were first brought to the courts of Vienna in the 1500s, and their popularity rapidly spread throughout northern Europe. In the 1600s, they were imported to the New World by colonists seeking a piece of home. By the Revolutionary War, lilacs were common across eastern North America and eventually moved westward with pioneers.

The flowers were ubiquitous in 19th-century paintings, songs, and poems. Claude Monet’s Resting Under the Lilacs (1873) depicts a time when they were an Old World garden standard—a popularity echoed in New World works. “The Lilac” (1888), a classic American song by Gustave H. Kline, tells of love shared through lilac blossoms, and Walt Whitman’s stirring poem “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” (1900) speaks of lilacs as an eternal symbol of spring. Americans commonly planted lilacs near their entry doors, where the delicate spring flowers could be most appreciated.

It’s hard to say when lilacs fell out of favor, but most point to a gradual shift in gardeners’ needs. Landscape design and “curb appeal” took precedence over the fleeting beauty of seasonal flowers, and lilac breeders didn’t help the cause by continuing to focus on bigger, better blooms rather than long-term good looks and higher pest and disease resistance. In his latest Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs, author Michael Dirr writes of common lilacs, “It is unfortunate that such a treasured shrub with such wonderfully fragrant flowers should have so many flaws.”

That said, there are some lilacs that break the mold. Several new varieties and revered species alter the status quo by providing continuous beauty to the garden.

Lilac Maintenance

Lilacs need a few basics for good health. A site with full sun and ample airflow will encourage the best habit and flowering while discouraging foliar diseases like powdery mildew. It’s also essential to plant lilacs in average to fertile soil that’s slightly alkaline to neutral and has good drainage. Bone meal is a good, all-natural fertilizer for lilacs and should be spread around the canopy shadow at the rate of ¼ cup for every ¼” of trunk diameter. These remarkably hardy shrubs grow best in cold climates, often tolerating USDA hardiness zones 3 and 4, but may become stressed in areas with hot summer days and nights (daytime temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures over 75), so Southern growers should choose heat-resistant lilacs like ‘Cheyenne.’

Pruning should be done sparingly, if at all. Most lilacs bloom on old wood, so prune just after flowering. Dead or lilac-borer-infested stems can be removed at any time. Borer damage is easily identified by round or half-moon-shaped exit holes that appear at stem bases. Old, ungainly lilacs can be rejuvenated by cutting back the oldest stems by one third while retaining the strongest new shoots.


If there is one shrub Northerners wish they could bring with them to the South, this is it. No plant is more cherished than lilac for big, flamboyant, fragrant flowers. Most popular are the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) and its scads of selections, but many other species and hybrids merit attention. Most are medium-size to large shrubs with no particular appeal when out of bloom. Leaves are typically oval and pointed or rounded, with smooth edges. Floral show (always after leaf-out) comes from numerous small flowers packed into dense clusters shaped like pyramids or cones. Depending on where you live, flowering may occur anywhere from earliest spring to early summerthat is, if flowering occurs. Like the Green Bay Packers, most lilacs are used to long, cold winters, and without that chill they are likely to perform poorly. This disappoints folks who are looking for the same spectacle in Atlanta that they enjoyed in Bangor. Some types, however, such as Syringa x laciniata and others described here, bloom well with only light winter chill and put on a good show even in the Lower South. Most lilacs won’t bloom in the Coastal Southand certainly not in the Tropical South.

chinese lilac

syringa x chinensis

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Hybrid between Syringa vulgaris and Syringa x persica.
  • To 15 feet high and wide, usually much less.
  • More graceful than Syringa vulgaris, with finer-textured leaves to 3 inches long.
  • Profuse, open clusters of fragrant, rosy purple flowers.
  • Does well in mild-winter, hot-summer climates.
  • Alba has white blossoms.
  • Lilac Sunday is a vigorous, disease-resistant selection with light purple blossoms.

syringa x hyacinthiflora

A group of complex hybrids developed by the U.S. National Arboretum include uniform, heavy-blooming, disease-tolerant plants, some of which thrive in the Middle South (USDA 7). Look for ‘Betsy Ross’, to 10 feet tall, 13 feet wide, with large white flowers; ‘Declaration’, to 8 feet tall and wide, with reddish purple flowers; and ‘Old Glory’, to 12 feet tall and wide, with bluish-purple flowers.

cutleaf lilac

syringa x laciniata

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Open-structured plant to 8 feet tall, 10 feet wide.
  • Leaves to 212 inches long, divided nearly to midrib into three to nine segments; good rich green color.
  • Many small clusters of fragrant, lilac-colored blooms.
  • Highly mildew resistant.
  • Blooms well even in Lower and Coastal South.

meyer lilac

syringa meyeri

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8, except as noted.
  • From northern China and Japan.
  • Compact, rounded shrub to 56 feet tall and 4 feet wide, with oval leaves to 1 14 inches long.
  • Fragrant, lavender-pink blooms appear in 3 inches-long clusters.
  • Resists mildew.
  • Best-known variety ‘Palibin’ is slow growing, with dense, twiggy growth to 35 feet tall and wide.
  • It blooms when only 1 feet high; a profusion of reddish purple buds open to fragrant, single bright pink flowers in 5 inches clusters.

Several popular hybrids resulted from crosses involving Syringa m. ‘Paliban’. ‘Jose’ (US, MS; USDA 6-7) grows 6 feet tall, 5 feet wide, with small, fragrant, lavender-pink blooms produced in spring and then occasionally throughout the growing season, often with a second flush of bloom in fall. ‘Bloomerang’ (US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9) is another reblooming lilac; it grows just 34 feet high and wide, with a profusion of light purple or reddish purple flowers in spring and late summer or fall. ‘Tinkerbelle’ (US, MS; USDA 6-7), a dense, upright grower to 56 feet tall and wide, has fine-textured foliage and spicy-scented pink flowers; makes a nice specimen shrub or informal hedge.

persian lilac

syringa x persica

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Graceful, loose form to 6 feet high and wide; leaves 212 inches long.
  • Many clusters of fragrant, pale violet flowers appear all along arching branches.
  • Alba has white flowers.

preston lilac

syringa x prestoniae

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Group of extra-hardy hybrids developed in Canada.
  • To 12 feet tall and wide.
  • Flowers come on new growth at the end of the lilac season, after Syringa vulgaris has finished.
  • Bulky, dense plants resemble Syringa vulgaris, but individual flowers are smaller and are not as fragrant.
  • One of the best is ‘James MacFarlane’, a pink-blooming selection that blooms well as far south as Atlanta.

syringa pubescens microphylla ‘Superba(Syringa microphylla ‘Superba’)

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Selection of a lilac native to China.
  • Compact grower to 7 feet tall, twice as wide.
  • Mildew-resistant leaves to 2 inches long, with bronze fall color.
  • Deep red buds open to fragrant, single bright pink flowers.
  • May rebloom in early autumn.
  • Heat tolerant.

syringa pubescens patula ‘Miss Kim(Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’)

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Selection of a lilac from northern China and Korea.
  • Dense, twiggy, rounded; eventually to 89 feet high and wide, but stays small for many years.
  • Sometimes grafted high to make a standard tree.
  • Purple buds open to very fragrant ice-blue flowers.
  • Leaves are 2412 inches long; may turn burgundy in fall.
  • Heat tolerant.

japanese tree lilac

syringa reticulata

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • From Japan.
  • To 30 feet tall, 20 feet wide; can be grown as large shrub or easily trained as single-stemmed tree.
  • Smooth, glossy, red-brown bark.
  • Leaves to 5 inches long.
  • Blooms on new growth late in the lilac season, bearing white, musky-scented flowers in showy clusters to 1 feet long.
  • This is the most problem-free lilac.
  • It makes a good lawn tree, street tree, or informal screen.
  • Ivory Silk is a compact grower to 20 feet tall, with cream-colored flowers borne in profusion even at a young age.
  • Snowdance is slightly smaller, with large panicles of white blooms.
  • Signature, to 25 feet high, has rounded clusters of white flowers.

common lilac

syringa vulgaris

  • Zones US, MS, LS (some); USDA 6-9.
  • From eastern Europe.
  • Can eventually reach 20 feet tall, with nearly equal spread.
  • Suckers strongly.
  • Prune out suckers on grafted plants (no need to do so on own-root plants).
  • Dark green leaves to 5 inches long.
  • Blooms in midspring, bearing pinkish or bluish lavender flowers in clusters to 10 inches long or longer (‘Alba’ has pure white flowers).
  • Fragrance is legendary; lilac fanciers swear that the species and its older selections are more fragrant than newer types.
  • Make excellent cut flowers.

Selections, often called French hybrids, number in the hundreds. They generally flower a little later than the species and have larger clusters of single or double flowers in a wide range of colors. Singles are often as showy as doubles, sometimes more so. All of these lilacs require 2 to 5 years to settle down and produce flowers of full size and true color. Here are just a few of the many choice selections: ‘Andenken an Ludwig Spth’ (reddish purple to dark purple), ‘Charles Joly’ (double dark purplish red), ‘Katherine Havemeyer’ (lavender-pink), ‘Madame Lemoine’ (double white), ‘Miss Ellen Willmott’ (double white), ‘President Grevy’ (double medium blue), ‘President Lincoln’ (Wedgwood blue), ‘President Poincar’ (double two-tone purple), ‘Sensation’ (deep purple to wine-red with white picotee edge), and ‘William Robinson’ (double lilac-pink).

Provide well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil. If your soil is strongly acid, dig in lime before planting. These plants typically bloom on wood formed the previous year, so prune just after flowers fade. (Until plants are established, just pinch back any overlong stems.) Remove spent blossom clusters, cutting back to a pair of leaves; growth buds at that point will make flowering stems for next year. Renovate old, overgrown plants by cutting a few of the oldest stems to the ground each year. For the few types that bloom on new growth, prune in late winter, before new growth starts. Major insect and disease problems include borers, scale, and powdery mildew.

blossom clusters, cutting back to a pair of leaves; growth buds at that point will make flowering stems for next year. Renovate old, overgrown plants by cutting a few of the oldest stems to the ground each year. For the few types that bloom on new growth, prune in late winter, before new growth starts. Major insect and disease problems include borers, scale, and powdery mildew.

When you first see lilacs in front of your eyes, what do you think? It’s natural green leaves and white or pink colored shrubs which refresh your mind within a minute. Another thing to remember about Lilac is their fragrance. Their odor leaves you to feel the atmosphere around this natural treasure. There are different types of Lilac you can find, especially in the Midwest and northern states. Below you will find out all the classification of lilac tree and how to maintain them properly for gardening. At first, we will clear up confusion about lilac.

You will find varieties of Lilac trees in nature. But there is confusion whether lilacs are trees or shrubs. The main thing is that the difference between shrubs and trees don’t persist. Trees mainly become taller, and huge trees look like a ‘tree lilacs.’ On the other hand, many lilacs have a little trunk and look like small shrubs or bushes. So, many experts classify lilacs as shrubs or bushes.

Lilac Tree: Variations& Individual Characteristics

There are lots of variations and types in Lilac trees. Experts have crossbred 28 varieties of Lilac. It was much extensive that experts often find it difficult to characterize lilacs. Lilacs have different attributes which makes them unique and suited to your garden and landscape. Here are some of the lilacs types, characteristics, and variations which you may consider for your garden.

Common lilac/ Syringa vulgaris

This lilac is the most well-known among people. In mid-spring common lilac blooms and grow up to 10 feet. This specific fragrant flower features purple blooms which get edged in white. Often you will see these types of flowers turn to solid white lilac. Check out its characteristics below-


  • Common lilac have purple blooms
  • Often becomes the height about 20 feet
  • Widely seen in western and northern Europe

Popular Varieties

There are some popular varieties of common lilacs. Lilacs have very few variations, but you can identify them depending on their color, shrubs, and blooms and how much they can grow. Here you will find some popular varieties of common lilac and their characteristics.

President Grevy

This is a French lilac type flowers which usually blooms in mid-day. Its blooms are lilac-blue and sweetly fragrant. Many use this kind of lilac as paintings.

  • Blooms grow up to 10 inches long
  • Its shrubs form with multi-stemmed plant
  • Plants grow up to 10 to 12 feet long

Beauty of Moscow is a Russian lilac, and with its delicate pink buds, it spreads fragrance on surrounding area. It generally gets 10 to 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide.

  • It creates a beautiful variety of shrub
  • It has Delicate white colors with fragrance

President Lincoln

This kind of common lilac is very fragrant and generally opens in mid-spring. This lilac’s shrub grows 22 feet tall and wide.

  • This Lincoln Lilac is rich in fragrant
  • It produces basal shoots
  • It forms flower thicket

Charles Joly’ Lilac/ Syringa vulgaris ‘Charles Joly’

This lilac was first to come out in 1896, and it is widely popular today. It is one of the best French hybrids till to this day. It has a strong fragrance with a distinct bud color. Use this plant as your paintings as it has unique screen quality. Plants grow 10 to 12 feet tall.

  • Its bud color is deep purple
  • It is double magenta-hued blooms

‘Ludwig Spaeth’ Lilac

This beautiful type was first to come out and appears in 1883. It still is one of the best purple lilacs you can find. Usually, it will grow early in summer while extending the blooming season.

  • One of the best-colored lilacs in all types
  • It usually grows up to 10 to 12 feet tall

‘Mme. Lemoine’ Lilac

Many of the French lilacs first introduced and recognized by Plantsman Victor Lemoine. He named this particular lilac as ‘Mme. Lemoine’ after his wife. This flower usually appears in mid-spring.

  • It contains double blossoms with fragrant quality
  • These lemony lilac plants grow 8 to 10 feet tall and wide

So, you want to grow lilac?

You can find various lilacs with different colors and variations. The most common lilac is Syringa vulgaris, which generally blooms in the northern states in late May. You will find other lilacs in early, mid and late-season which grow steadily and blooms for at least six weeks.

If you want to grow lilac, there are several things you need to consider at first. The condition of the climate, soil, light, and temperature are the factors; you should feel at first to grow lilac in your garden.

Choosing the location

The area should get appropriate to grow lilacs in fertile humus-rich, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. Select the site where your lilac will get enough sun. If lilacs don’t get enough sun, it will not bloom well, and enough draining of water needed to bloom flowers.

Try testing your soil and results will reveal. Test pH of your land which is neutral to alkaline at a pH level of near 7.0. If your soil condition gets poor, enrich your soil by adding compost. Test your soil for phosphorus, lime, potassium, salts, soil texture and more. Ensure proper testing of your soil to reveal insects, diseases or chemical reactions. Lilacs love to grow in rich soil. If your soil becomes acidic, adding garden lime will recover the soil alkaline.


Water plays a vital role in planting and growing lilacs. You need a proper drainage system to grow lilac in your garden. The drainage system will allow the garden to put away the extra amount of water. Lilacs do need water, but you need to make sure that water doesn’t get flooded in the garden.


Proper sunlight access is a recommendation for your garden. At least 6 hours of full sun is mandatory for your garden. If lilacs don’t get enough sun, it will not grow and bloom well enough.


Apply a layer of compost under the lilac plant and apply mulch to hold the moisture and weeds. If lilac gets over fertilized, it will not bloom. After lilac bush starts blooming, spread some lime around the base, and you can spread manure as well.


The planting hole should get deepened enough to place the plant’s root. Place the top of root with the surface of the hole. When you are planting lilac filling with soil, you should focus on providing water thoroughly. During the first couple of years, it’s important to water lilac frequently. In dry weather, water more than usual.


Lilac trees require maintenance. Lilac can endure drought and survive. When you see rainfall, make sure you water the plants once in a month. Lilacs will produce flowers on growth that is at least three years old; pruning will make it much faster. Another thing is sunlight. Make sure your garden gets enough sun access and don’t get shaded trees nearby. Still, your lilac can grow, but it will bring a smaller number of blooms.

At first, cut the flowerheads within a month. After bloom will help the plant focus on preparing more flowers buds. If your lilac becomes taller than common lilac, then consider cutting some branches. Cut the main stems to 10 to 15 inches from the soil. This makes the branches grow even more. Follow this pruning procedure for three years, and it will make the bloom more refreshed.


Deadheading will provide you with new flowers and leaf buds. Deadhead helps your plant to grow new flowers and make your plant look better. Deadheading is nothing but the removal of dead flowers from your plants.

Diseases & Pests

Lilacs are prone to get attacked by slugs and snails. Slugs are very much damaging garden pests which will make your lilac grow fewer flowers and leaves.

Powdery white mildew will appear hot summer weather. This kind of powdery substance will make your lilac garden look less colorful and unattractive. Sometimes you may get unsighty; in fact, it does not harm your lilac.

Dealing with lilac bushes

Lilac bushes are very fragrant. It offers charming and pleasant surroundings in your garden. But Lilac bushes may get invasive in your yard, and you can’t recover from the situations easily. Read more information about lilac bushes to remove this once and for all.

  • Shoots grow from the roots parallel with the surface of the soil
  • Bush regrows plants from root section, so, cut down the bush at ground level
  • You can remove bushes by watering the ground around the plant
  • Watering the ground will loosen soil and will make the bushes come out
  • You can try pulling the roots by hand or use shovel to remove the whole rootball
  • You can use the tractor to pull out the plant’s root system
  • Make sure to remove the entire lilac bushes; else any single piece will resprout
  • You can cut the shrubs and apply Glyphosate on the cuts to kill the roots

Uses of lilacs

Lilacs have various usages. You can use lilac as your various purpose, and it is a good health beneficiary for your needs. When you lack ideas about giving a gift to a friend, if you have a lilac garden then you can use it to give a surprise. Lilac is largely beneficial for your health issues. Below I am providing you with some basic usage of lilacs.

Lilac as a decorative element

Lilacs have many different colors and shapes. You can use lilac as a decorative item. You can use lilacs to give a present to your friend. Choose mixed bouquets and add lilac to use as a featured gift, create card covers and even you can decorate your cake toppers.

As a cut-flower

Using lilac as cut flowers to increase the fragrance is a great way to have a great odor. To have the great odor you need to cut the stems in the morning when flowers are barely open. By cutting stems under water and removing leaves, you will get spoil water in the vase. Pour lime soda and water in the vase. This will last longer cut-flowers.

As a culinary ingredient

Lilac has plenty of usage in culinary ingredients. You can crystallize them and later use as a decorative item in cookies, pies and cakes, rice dishes, and fresh green salads. You can also mix lilac blossoms with honey and also mix with yogurt to create a stylish dessert. Create a special drink by mixing sugar and water with lilac flowers.

Uses as a fragrance

Using lilac as a fragrant is a common thing as lilac itself is a fragrant flower. You can use lilac to create a special odor in your home, washroom and use this in the bathtub to have a nice and refreshing bath. You can mix lilac in soap or scrub to use in the shower.

Uses as a tool for animals

You can use lilac as an attracting tool for animals. Lilac lures birds by creating natural nesting, and they feel safer from other animals and this cause birds to feed on insects as insects grow many in numbers on lilac trees and bushes. Butterflies also work to help pollinate other garden plants. You can also use lilac as a distracting tool. If deer are the problem in your area, then use the lilac plants around your garden to distract them.

Health benefits of lilacs

Lilac Blossom Almond Scones

Discuss the different health benefits of lilac trees. Discuss all the possible and anticipated benefits of it.


Lilac is valuable for your health issue. Lilac oil is one kind of health beneficiary. It is aromatherapeutic oil which proves to remove your depression and anxiety. Its soothing fragrance takes you to the next zone of comfort level. It relaxes your body and mind by the aroma of the oil.

Medicinal Uses

Lilac has been using medicinally for centuries. It has used in treatment for malaria and fever. It was first introduced in colonial America as a vermifuge which is the threat for intestinal worms. Also, lilac is using an oil treatment which recovers your skin problems and minor injuries.

Lilac essential oil

The medical use of lilac first introduced in the 19th century. You might be thinking how a flower can have medicinal values! It used as intestinal worms’ removal as well as anti-periodic medicine which prevent you from falling in a particular disease over and over.

Lilac oil is widely using to recover from different diseases. It uses to treat rashes and sunburn, skin treatment, scrapes, minor injury, and scrapes. Here are some benefits of lilac oil-

  • Oil is using to remove stomach related issues and intestinal worms
  • It fights against bacterial and fungal infections
  • It helps reducing age lines, wrinkles on your skin
  • It prevents and treats malaria

Making lilac oil

Now, we will see how you can make lilac oil-

  • Get some fresh lilac flowers
  • Place the blossoms on top while lining a bowl with food protector cloth
  • Get two cups of water while making sure flowers submerged properly
  • Keep it overnight by covering the bowl
  • Later on, the next day, pull the corner part of cloth together
  • Then keeping flowers in the center, twist it into a packet
  • Tie it with a string
  • Let lilac water to boil before lilac water should bring into a vessel
  • Put sachet in water and let the water boil for an hour and cool it
  • Pour water in a bottle and add five drops of glycerin
  • Shake well before use
  • Lilac essential oil is the Treatment for vermifuge
  • Found Astringent properties; it is a great skin tightening agent and toner
  • Lilac oil removes you anxiety
  • It’s great for skin treatment
  • Lilac oil is a strong antibacterial agent
Side effects of lilac oil

Lilac oil is beneficial for your health. But there are some side effects of using regular lilac oil. The skin may turn itchy and even using oil may develop rashes and experience different symptoms. You may need to stop using oil for a longer time.

Bonus: A few recipes for you!

Lilac is a sweet and fragrant flower. If you walk by the side of the road and spot a lilac tree aside, you will undeniably get lost in its colorful and elegant features. But the thing is lilac can do something even more than you expect. You can have recipes by lilac blossoms. It is unusual, but you will love to see the result later. So, here are some lilac recipes for you-

Simple Syrup

Lilac syrup is a kind of dish which you can use in wide variety of dishes. Below I’m going to show you how to prepare this recipe-


  • A cup of water
  • A cup of sugar
  • A cup of lilac flower buds


  • Put sugar and water on the stove until it dissolved
  • Put a cup of lilac flower in water and sugar
  • Heat it for 10 minutes
  • You can add few blueberries for color
  • To remove the flowers, you need to filter the syrup
  • Let it be cool and save it in refrigerator


  • You can use this syrup to prepare tea, cocktails
  • You can prepare fragrant juice as well

Nutritional facts

  • You will get 193 calories per servings
  • Decent amount of carbohydrate to keep you hunger-free

Lilac Blossom Almond Scones

This lilac recipe is special. This is one of the stylish and elegant lilac recipes for your needs.

  • 3 cups flour, all-purpose
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • One teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken well
  • One teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds
  • 1 cup lilac flowers
  • Prepare your oven and preheat it to 425 degrees
  • In a bowl, mix flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • Mix it well and Cut the butter into small chops and leave it to dry mixture
  • Use your finger, hands and work on butter and flour mixture
  • Add buttermilk, vanilla extract, almonds and lilac blossoms, fold altogether in a bowl
  • Roll the dough into a ball
  • Flatten the dough by hand and cut the dough into triangles
  • You can spread some sugar on those
  • Put in oven and bake at least 15 minutes until desired color and toastiness comes

  • Lots of calories per servings
  • Decent amount of carbohydrate to keep you hunger-free

Lilac Haze

Lilac haze is another healthy recipe for your health benefits. Check out its Recipe below-

  • 2 ounces Botanist Gin
  • 3/4 ounces lilac simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce Poli Miele Honey Grappa liqueur
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bottle or shaker with rice
  • Shake it well
  • Mix lemon or few lilac flowers
  • Use it at a cocktail party or friends union
  • This lemony and honeyed mixture is abundant with vitamins

Lilac Honey Cake

This is one of the most beautiful and tasty dishes in lilac recipe. This looks incredibly delightful and simple to make. Check out the preparation method-

  • Half cup Salted Butter softened
  • 3-4 tablespoon of Sugar
  • Half cup Lilac Blossoms packed tightly
  • 2 Eggs
  • Two teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2 and a half cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • Half Cup Buttermilk
  • Half Cup Honey
  • Prepare your oven and preheat it to 370 degrees and prepare a pan.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, the honey and buttermilk
  • Cream together the butter, sugar, and lilac blossoms until light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract
  • Add the flour mixture with the buttermilk
  • Pour the batter into the pan
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes
  • Keep in refrigerator for your needs
  • You can definitely use it in any function
  • Lots of carbohydrate and calories


Lilac consists of health benefits and various uses. Lilacs are very fragrant, and you can have one or two in your yard in the spring or summer. The surrounding smell of lilac is out of the question, and you can use it for great sight views. But the health benefits of this plant are enormous for your everyday healthy life. So, have a lilac garden in your backyard!

The common lilac tree, also known as Syringa vulgaris, is universally popular among flower fans. Its blooms are fragrant and gorgeous, and the lilac’s scent is unmistakable. In fact, it’s commonly used in perfumes and fragrant lotions because it’s known to trigger pleasant memories and happy feelings. It’s this trait that makes them great additions to home gardens and landscaping.

Although lilacs are easy to care for and require little maintenance, many people find their plants thrive with a few tips. This guide will offer everything you need to know to grow a beautiful lilac tree at home, and keep it thriving for years to come.

The Most Important Highlights

RitaE /

To keep your lilac tree growing safe and strong, there are a few very important tips you can follow. Many people find that their bushes thrive when they follow these care techniques, which are suggested by gardeners and horticulturists alike:

  1. Plant lilacs where they receive at least eight hours of full sunlight each day.
  2. Use soil that will drain well, preferably with a lower level of nitrogen and a slightly acidic pH level.
  3. Prune bushes over three years old during the late spring, after the blooms are gone for the season.

4. Different Lilac Tree Varieties

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Over 28 different species of lilac trees exist, probably because the plant has a long history that dates clear back to the ancient Greeks. There are so many types and hybrids, telling the difference between them is even difficult for experts.

You may find seven different colors of lilacs in total, and these plants make wonderful additions to your home garden. The blooms will attract lovely hummingbirds and butterflies, and the plants themselves add a dose of beauty to any yard.

The beautiful lilac flowers cluster together as they grow on a bush or tree. They come in a variety of colors including the most commonly found varieties:

  • White
  • Pink
  • Magenta
  • Blue
  • Different shades of purple

The most common type, Syringa vulgaris, is the cultivar we’ll discuss most often in this guide. They offer a strong fragrance and often grow up to 20 feet tall. The most fragrant lilacs from this variety include:

  • Charles Joly – Magenta flowers that are early bloomers
  • Monge – Deep reddish-purple colored flowers appearing in the mid-season
  • Firmament – Blue flowers in the mid season
  • Miss Canada – A red/pink blend that appears in late season
  • Donald Wyman – Purple flowers during the late season

5. How to Plant Lilacs

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Whether you plant your lilac tree from a sapling or find your favorite bush at your local nursery, finding the best plant for your yard is the first step to planting lilacs at home. You can grow them in containers as well, before transporting them to your yard. Here’s how you can get started:

6. Select the Best Variety for Your Climate

Before you plant, think about which type of lilac tree or bush will thrive at your home. You’ll also want to consider the best spot for your new plant to ensure it does well over time.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, lilacs do best in planting zones 3 or 4 through 9. They need cold—even freezing—winters. If you’re in zones 8 or 9, you’ll need to look for a specialty variety that better tolerates warm climates. These “warm climate varieties” include:

  • Angel White
  • Blue Skies
  • Miss Kim
  • Lavender Lady

Select a variety best suited for your area, taking the full-grown size into consideration, and choose a spot in your yard that offers full sun all day long. Lilac plants need a lot of bright light, and dry roots.

If you have trouble finding the best variety, your local garden center or garden nursery can recommend the ones they know will do best in your area.

Once you’ve planted your lilac, expect it to grow and spread easily. You’ll need to leave room in your planting area because of how big they’ll grow. Shrubs can exceed 20 feet in height and live long lives, and even small lilac bushes will become full- to medium-sized trees in no time.

Therefore, consider the size of your plant when you choose your spot. Find a place that offers good air circulation and drainage as well as sunshine. If wet soil may be a problem, creating a raised bed to place your lilac in may be beneficial.

7. How to Plant a Lilac Bush

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

Begin by purchasing your favorite lilac variety.

You can purchase your lilacs in bare-root form, or grown in a container from a nursery near you. Mail order plant supply companies may also be able to ship your lilac directly to your door, saving you some work on transportation.

Another option is to start your own lilac plant from someone else’s saplings. If you choose this route, you’ll need to begin by digging up transplant saplings from another person’s lilac shrub in the spring. Select 12-inch tall saplings, and use a shovel to dig them from the ground. Cut the runners to separate the sapling from the plant.

Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  • Prepare the Plant – If your lilac tree or sapling is dormant, prepare the plant by soaking the roots in tepid water for 10 to 15 minutes before planting.
  • Dig – Once your lilac is ready for planting (in the spring or fall), dig a hole in the soil just deep enough to cover the roots.
  • Check the Soil – If your location doesn’t offer rich soil, add compost or fertilizer to the hole before adding the lilac to the hole. You can use a testing kit to check the pH balance of your soil, and remember: lilacs prefer a slightly acidic pH level of 5 to 7. To combat soil that’s too acidic, try sprinkling lime on the lilac’s roots before planting.
  • Set the Plant – Place the plant in the hole, fill it halfway with soil and water. Let this settle before continuing to fill the remainder of the hole with soil.
  • Leave Room for More Plants – Space each hole you dig at least 5 to 15 feet apart, depending on the variety you choose, to allow for growing room.
  • Add Mulch – A small layer of loose mulch will keep out weeds and help retain some moisture, but don’t add too much.

8. How to Care for Lilac Trees

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Providing the best care for your lilacs will help them grow stronger and healthier. They’re easy to grow with little help from you, but you may need to perform some basic maintenance.


Lilacs don’t enjoy wet roots, but they need to be well watered. During the summer, you will need to water your lilac tree several times each week unless you’ve recently received heavy rains.

Water the plant from the base and allow the soil to fully dry before you add water again. If there is less than one inch of rainfall in a week, give your lilac a drink.


It’s very important to keep your soil chemistry right, as lilacs do best with slightly acidic soil with lower levels of nitrogen. Shoot for a pH balance near 7 and enrich your soil if it isn’t in the right condition for lilacs. Bone meal, for example, can help make your soil more alkaline.


A homemade compost of store-bought, all-purpose fertilizer will work well at keeping your plants balanced. Avoid nitrogen-rich fertilizers and don’t add a lot of nitrogen to your compost pile if you plan to use it for lilacs. Although, the bushes don’t need much fertilizing.

Depending on the soil’s condition, you probably only need to fertilize lilacs once per year in the spring. You can apply a layer of compost or fertilizer under the plant, adding mulch on top to help control weeds and retain moisture (unless your soil is moist enough already). However, you may need to fertilize again using 10-10-10 when the first blossoms open or in the winter. If you fertilize too much, your plant won’t bloom.

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Cut the oldest, largest branches of your plant any time from the beginning of winter to after late spring’s final flowering. Make sure to snip the branches as close to the ground as you can, and remove branches from both the center and the outside to open up the bush.

The less you prune your lilacs, the bigger the individual trunks will become, and they will grow quite large. Some people allow the plants to take care of themselves and opt not to prune often. As such, the biggest issue to arise is that the growing branches may compete for space.

Smaller branches may become strangled and die back, meaning you’ll need to remove the dead trunks. Trimming 1/3 of the growth back periodically will help you maintain a healthy plant full of blooms. You’ll also need to avoid planting too close to another tree, fence, or wall to allow the plant to spread out.

Remove any branches that appear diseased or damaged and cut off all the dead flowers if you want to avoid forming seeds. You can also prune the bush once more during the Autumn to shape the plant or remove branches with fewer flowers.


Keep the nearby area free of weeds and grass to improve the quality of your flowers. You can put down a 16- to 24-inch diameter landscape cloth covered in stones or mulch the area to keep it clear.,

9. Common Pests and Disease Problems

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Lilac bushes and trees are typically sturdy, but pest problems can happen.

Slugs and snails are the most common culprits to attack lilacs. If you notice insects taking out your plant, spray your trees with soapy water to keep them away. A heavy infestation, however, may require you to prune the plant to cut away the damage.

Regular pruning will also take care of another major issue people face when growing lilacs: mildew. Too much water, or a particularly hot and humid summer, can cause lilacs to develop powdery white mildew. Although the mildew isn’t going to kill your plant, pruning the bushes is the easiest way to treat and prevent the spread of disease.

Lilac Tree | Syringa Trees

Is a Lilac a shrub or a tree? Well, it’s makes a bush shape so many people would regard that as a shrub but it also ages into a gnarled small tree reaching about 20ft in 10-20 years. So, it’s both really.

Choosing & Growing Lilac Trees

Syringa are ideal for the back of borders to bring good height to the scheme and wonderful partnered with others flowering at the same time – Laburnum, Hawthorn, or Ceanothus would be our favourites. Or you can remove the lower branches to creat a single stem tree, or carefully select just a few well-placed stems to grow on to create a beautifully balanced multi stemmed shrub. We also offer several varieties of dwarf Lilac shrub that are ideal for smaller spaces or towards the front of borders.

Syringa trees flower on old wood so the timing of pruning is important. Established plants need very little attention, but to encourage flowers on lower branches, you should cut out some of the tallest stems just after flowering (in mid-summer). As with all shrubs, dead or damages or diseased stems should be removed. On young plants, prune to create an open framework, removing crossing stems or shorten any whippy long stems.

Old, neglected, overgrown Lilac trees can withstand very hard pruning to restore them, but it does mean that there will be little to no flowering for a couple of years. Prune all stems to about one foot from ground level when the plant is fully dormant in mid-winter, but take care not to prune below the graft point. Then thin out new stems in the following dormant season leaving two or three shoots per stem.

History & Interesting Facts About Lilac Trees

The name Syringa is Latin for ‘a tube’. This is thought to be in reference to the broad pith found in some species that the Ancient Greeks used to hollow out to make reed pipes or flutes. Vulgaris is the Latin for ‘common’. The colour lilac gained its name from the shade of purple on many of the Syringa species, in particular, Syringa vulgaris. The term French Lilac refers to the modern double flower cultivars made famous by prolific breeder Victor Lemoine.

Lilac trees peaked in their appeal in the early 20th century, but have been cultivated in the UK since the 16th century. The French horticulturalists, the Lemoine family, bred over 200 cultivars – including our own Madame Lemoine variety. Lilac trees are so popular that many Lilac festivals are held throughout America. The longest running being in Rochester, New York since 1898. It is held at Highland Park and boasts the largest amount of Lilac tree varieties in one place, most having been developed there. Lilac flowers are also the state flower of New Hampshire.

Syringa trees are commonly used as a symbol of love. In Greece, Cyprus and Lebanon, Syringa represent Easter as they flower around that time.

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