By Tammy Sons
Lilacs are graceful flowering shrubs that look great in any landscape. They also happen to be adaptable plants that require very less maintenance which makes them a must-have for home gardeners.
You can choose from the many varieties that come in beautiful colors and grow them in your home garden. Once they mature, they will bloom and produce fragrant flowers for many years to come. Some of the essential things to keep in mind if you are planning to grow lilacs in your garden are—
Basic Requirements—Lilacs perform best when planted in full sunshine. If you grow them in the shade then they will produce secondary flowers. Give them enough room so that they can grow and spread at ease. They prefer a well- drained and loamy soil. Lilacs can grow in different types of soil provided that it is not acidic.
When and What to Plant—Lilacs can be propagated from cuttings or suckers, but it is tricky for home gardeners, so it is advisable to buy small plants from a nursery. You can also buy large plants that are balled and burlapped. The best time to plant lilacs is in the fall season before the ground starts to freeze. Fall planting gives them enough time to develop a healthy root system before the next season. They can also be planted in spring.
Fertilizing—Lilacs are not very demanding, and hence they do not need a heavy dose of fertilizers. You can use a general fertilizer in early spring, and that would suffice. Avoid using a lot of nitrogen-based fertilizers as they can result in poor blooming.
Pruning—Lilacs do not require regular pruning, however; you will have to prune the dead branches once every year. Pruning annually can help in maintaining the desired shape. If pruned in the right manner then a shabby and old shrub can be transformed into a vigorous and attractive shrub. Prune in such a way that the inner branches also receive their share of sunlight and air.
Diseases—Lilacs are most susceptible to powdery mildew. It happens to be the most common disease that affects lilac shrubs. Powdery Mildew affects the plants during hot and humid weather. Remove the dead, decayed and infected leaves from the shrub. It is important to get rid of them as soon as possible because the infection can spread to other plants. The infected leaves should be disposed of and should not be used for composting.
Growing lilacs is easy as they are low maintenance durable plants that can transform your home garden. Try growing different varieties of flowering plants to match them with your lilacs.