The Q&A Archives: Lilac Care

Question: HOw do I care for Lilac trees?

Answer: The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) will grow in your area, but may not bloom faithfully for you. Lilacs need a pronounced period of cold weather to bloom best, and yours is a mild winter area. You might try growing one of the Descanso Hybrids that have been developed to perform especially well in Southern California. "Lavender Lady", "Chiffon", and "Blue Skies" would all be good bets for your garden. Lilacs prefer to grow in full sunshine, in average soil, with regular watering during spring and summer. Once established, lilacs grow lush and full and may need annual pruning to keep them within bounds. Prune after flowering to allow the development of buds for next year's bloom. Lilacs are reliable shrubs in the landscape and can be trained into a tree shape by removing all but one main stem, and keeping the new shoots rubbed out before they become branches.

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