The Q&A Archives: White Lilacs which should be Purple.

Question: I have a lilac ~8 yrs old. This is the first year it has "really" bloomed and should have been a bright purple; but the blooms are almost white or a very pale purple at best, probably ~96% white.

I feel it is probably a deficiency in the soil, do you know of anything I can add to get purple lilacs next year?

Answer: Lilacs prefer growing in alkaline soils, so your first step should be having your soil tested. If it's neutral or acidic, you may want to raise the pH by adding lime to your soil. Lime takes some time to break down and mellow the soil, so an application this fall may not affect next spring's bloom, but by raising the pH, your lilacs will eventually develop their true color.

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