Answer: Lilacs produce the best bloom when they've received a pronounced winter chill. In southern California, where winter weather is mild, you'll have good results with lilacs if you choose one of the Descanso hybrids. They've been especially developed to bloom well in mild-winter climates. Provide lilacs with full sunshine, slightly alkaline soils with good drainage, and plan to prune them back every few years to help keep them in shape.
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