6 Rules For Perfect Care Of Lilacs

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6 Rules For Perfect Care Of Lilacs
6 Rules For Perfect Care Of Lilacs

Video: 6 Rules For Perfect Care Of Lilacs

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Video: What is the proper care for a lilac? 2023, January

Lilacs, with their unique scent that cannot be confused with other plants, has a reputation for being one of the easiest garden shrubs to grow. Lilac adapts perfectly to a wide variety of climates, settles in gardens for decades, is frost-resistant, gas- and drought-resistant. But it would be a very big mistake to call lilac a culture that does not require care at all. After all, this shrub retains both abundance and beauty only if you give it at least minimal care.

Dwarf lilac in a flower garden
Dwarf lilac in a flower garden


  • Do lilacs need care?
  • Watering not only after planting
  • Top dressing depending on age
  • Three types of lilac pruning
  • Loosening the soil should be regular
  • Mulching is very important
  • Resilient does not mean invulnerable

Do lilacs need care?

Lilac is a shrub with an almost impeccable reputation. She copes well with frost and urban conditions. Not afraid of dust and gas pollution, not demanding on soils, adaptable to lighting. You can even use lilacs in the design of the garden in different ways: there is a place for this beautifully flowering shrub in the alley, and in the hedges, and on the lawn, and in the flower garden or rabat. But lilac does not belong to the plants that can be “planted and forgotten”.

To admire its fragrant clouds, you need to devote time to pruning every year. And it will be impossible to achieve abundant long flowering without watering, fertilizing, maintaining the proper condition of the soil. Lilac care is not difficult, but it consists of the minimum procedures necessary for the normal development of the bush. There are important rules here.

Rule 1. Watering not only after planting

Lilacs are considered so hardy that they do not need regular watering. Systemic procedures are not needed for this shrub, but this does not mean that irrigation for lilacs is not carried out at all. The care is not limited to the first procedure of abundant watering after planting.

Watering lilacs is carried out during the entire flowering time and in spring during the active growth of shoots (of course, only when natural precipitation is not enough). In summer, after flowering, watering is carried out only on the hottest days: the plant is not afraid of drought, but it still needs to be protected from overheating.

Watering lilacs is carried out throughout the active season
Watering lilacs is carried out throughout the active season

Rule 2. Top dressing depending on age

Lilacs need a different approach to feeding immediately after planting and after reaching optimal sizes. These plants cannot be fed until they are fully rooted and in preparation for winter: lilacs are fed only during the period of active growth, in the first half of the season.

In the first year after planting and at a young age, lilacs do not need feeding. The only exception is planting in poor soil, which simply does not have enough nutrients for normal growth. In this case, two dressings per year are made for young lilacs. After winter, when signs of the beginning of the growth of young branches are visible on the bush, the first feeding is carried out. And the second is held in the middle of summer: in late June or early July. From the second year after planting in early spring, nitrogen or organic fertilizers can be applied to any lilacs.

Adult lilacs are fed differently. From the third or fourth year, 1 time per season (most often in early spring), 50-60 g of nitrogen fertilizers (ammonium nitrate or urea) are applied under each bush. In the summer after flowering, lilacs are fed with organic fertilizers, embedded in the soil with a solution of mullein or ash. "Autumn" dressing (in August-early September) is applied only once every 2-3 years, using potassium-phosphorus fertilizers (30 g of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers or 55-60 g of the mixture).

For any lilacs, you can mix organic and mineral fertilizers. For young lilacs, manure is preferable, for adults - humus. When combined with organic matter, a single portion of mineral fertilizers should be reduced from 50-60 g to 30-40 g.

Lilacs are fertilized only in cloudy weather or in the evening, after watering or rain. Fertilizers can be either dissolved in water or embedded in the soil.

Rule 3. Three types of lilac pruning

If something is lilac and "simple", then just not in pruning. After all, this beloved shrub needs regular cleaning and shaping. Pruning begins from the third or fourth year, when skeletal branches begin to form. And a single pruning is not enough, for lilacs, three types of these procedures are carried out:

1. The main pruning (flowering stimulation) is necessary for all types of lilacs, without exception. In order for the bushes to bloom profusely next year, it is necessary to prune the faded inflorescences in time, because flower buds of this shrub are formed only on summer shoots. The main pruning is done immediately after flowering, not in fall.

2. Anti-aging pruning. It is only needed on adult and old lilacs. Timely rejuvenation avoids the need for cardinal rejuvenation and skipping flowering. For rejuvenation, thickening, extra shoots on the bushes are removed annually, forming strong skeletal branches and a healthy bush with 5 to 10 well-located shoots.

Such rejuvenation is carried out in early spring, before the awakening of the kidneys. But if, nevertheless, it became necessary to carry out cardinal rejuvenation on old lilacs, then all shoots, without exception, are cut to sufficiently low stumps, completely removing all unnecessary thickening branches. Next year, the lilac will recover and if it releases inflorescences, then only small and single ones. But every year, with the proper formation of the bush, the lilac will bloom more and more abundantly and more beautifully.

3. Formative pruning. Lilac is a mostly landscape and picturesque shrub, and the formation of the crown, giving it certain outlines on it is used very rarely. The only exception is the removal of root shoots, weak, growing inward, damaged, dry shoots, which is necessary for any lilac to form strong skeletal shoots.

And the formation as such is carried out only in three cases:

  • in regular gardens, lilacs are given a stricter shape, from a young age setting the growth vector and slightly trimming the shoots to limit crown growth and give a silhouette (for example, for a spherical and umbrella-shaped crown, the lower shoots are removed and the upper ones thicken, etc.);
  • for hedges and tunnels near densely growing bushes, the top is cut off, and on the lateral shoots, twice a year, in spring and autumn, they are pruned, achieving the desired hedge outlines;
  • to form a lilac in a bole, one central skeletal shoot is left, it is regularly "cleaned" from lateral branches, and the crown is formed at the top into a "cloud", limiting its growth.
The main pruning of lilacs is carried out immediately after flowering
The main pruning of lilacs is carried out immediately after flowering

Rule 4. Loosening the soil should be regular

In order for lilacs to please with abundant flowering for many years and not suffer from any weather conditions, it is necessary to keep the soil loose, constantly renew its air and water permeability. Without loosening the soil, the lilac will suffer from soil compaction.

Loosening the soil for lilacs is carried out 3 or 4 times per season, combining it with weeding. The first loosening is carried out in early spring. It is better to carry out aeration after heavy rainfall or watering. But it is extremely important not to overdo it: for lilacs, the soil is loosened only 4-7 cm and no deeper.

Rule 5. Mulching is very important

It is possible to simplify the care of lilacs as much as possible and achieve better water retention, protect the root system from overheating, preserve the quality of the soil and its structure, only if you do not forget to constantly maintain the mulching layer in the lilac trunk circle. The first mulching for this shrub is created during planting, or rather, after abundant watering. For lilacs, the mulch layer should be from 5 to 7 cm. In the future, the mulch layer is renewed and maintained constantly, renewing at least 2 times a year - in spring and autumn.

It is preferable to use as mulching materials for lilacs:

  • peat;
  • humus;
  • half-ripe leaves;
  • compost.

For young seedlings in the first winter, it is advisable to create a new protective mulching-covering layer of leaves or peat up to 10 cm high.

Lilac in the garden
Lilac in the garden

Rule 6. Persistent does not mean invulnerable

Despite its reputation as a strikingly hardy shrub, lilacs suffer from both disease and pests. Moreover, problems on healthy and strong bushes can appear in the vicinity of infected plants, and in unsuccessful seasons, when the care was insufficient to compensate for the heat and drought. And it will be very difficult to cure lilacs if you do not notice the defeat in time. Inspect the bushes regularly, especially in the second half of the season, for the slightest sign of these troublesome problems.

Of the diseases on lilacs, late blight and powdery mildew are most common. The sooner a problem is identified, the easier it will be to deal with it. With a strong defeat of the lilac, it will be difficult to cure it even with cardinal pruning and regular treatments. It is possible to fight diseases on this shrub with a simple Bordeaux mixture, and a variety of narrowly targeted fungicides.

Of the harmful insects on lilacs, leaf-eating pests and mites are more common. Moreover, the spread of these pests leads to a rapid loss of decorativeness and practically - to "baldness". It is necessary to fight insects with systemic insecticides: narrowly targeted agents are effective, but while you are struggling with one problem, other pests can settle on the weakened lilac.

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