The Q&A Archives: Lilac Growth Rate

Question: I am going to plant some lilacs in my yard, 2 common lilacs and a hybrid lilac. Can you tell me about the growth rate on lilacs, I know they grow good, but how much will they grow in a year? The common lilacs get up to 15 feet and the hybrids gets up to 10 feet. So will it take a real long time to grow? So can you just tell me about how fast they grow I want to leave them large, too. I love the look of a large mature beautiful lilac.


Lilacs grow fastest in full sun, in rich soil, and with plenty of water during dry spells. To some extent, the growth rate will depend on how well sited they are and how well you take care of them while they are becoming established. For best results, plant them carefully and then keep the soil moist but not soggy during the growing season. It also helps to use an organic mulch several inches deep covering the root area (but not touching the stems). According to Michael Dirr's "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants," lilacs are considered to grow at a medium rate which would be between 13 and 24 inches a year. I would not expect a significant difference between the basic common lilac and a hybrid, unless the hybrid includes a particularly fast or slow growth pattern as one of its characteristics.

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