Answer: Lilacs mildew easily in a shady spot and they really like sun anyway, so the first thing is to find the sunniest spot possible!
The soil should be loamy and well drained. Since it's a heavy feeder, fertilize it every other year. Every spring give it some well-rotted compost and dig it in well being careful not to injure the roots. They will enjoy a mulch of hay leaves, wood ashes or pine needles whenever you can give it to them.
When planting, place it in a hole wide enough to take the root without cramping. Fill the hole with a mix of topsoil and compost. Some bonemeal (a cup or so) will go a long way toward giving it a good start. Water it generously this first year but don't let it sit in a puddle.
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