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How to Grow and Care for Lilac Plants in Your Garden
Growing Requirements for Lilac Plants
Most Lilacs are hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
They require full sun for maximum bloom, except in the hottest regions,
where they should be grown in partial shade.
Lilacs should be planted well draining, slightly alkaline soil (pH 7.5).
When they are planted in strongly acidic soil, lime should be cultivated into the soil beneath the drip line of your plant to adjust the soil pH.
Pruning Lilac Plants
Your Lilac should be pruned immediately after it finishes blooming.
Prune the spent flowers back to the point just above where the new buds are forming.
Dead or damaged stems should be cut off, and a few of the oldest stems should be cut back to the ground.
Heavy pruning will result in the loss much of next years bloom, because next years flowers are formed on the plant this year. Prune Lilacs sparingly whenever possible.
Growing Lilacs in mild climates
Most Lilacs require a pronounced winter chilling period which includes at least a few frosts.
Mild winters may cause these plants to fail to bloom during the following year.
If you live in an area where there isn't a 'defined' chill that comes with winter,
you should grow one of the "Descanso Hybrid Lilacs" that were developed to eliminate the necessity of winter's chilling.
Propagating Lilac Plants
Lilacs can be started indoors by planting seeds two inches deep in a moist growing medium
and keeping them in the refrigerator until germination, which takes 60-90 days.
Lilac seeds can be sown directly in the garden in late fall.
Lilacs grown from seed may not be true to their original species.
Lilacs can also be struck from semi-ripe cuttings taken in mid summer.
Suckers which grow from the Lilac's roots can be separated and re-planted