Planting Lilacs - Knowledgebase Question

New York, NY
Avatar for SQTW19A
Question by SQTW19A
April 29, 1998
I mail ordered lilac 4"-6" roots. I have never planted lilacs before. My garden spot is full of rocks, etc. What is the best soil preparation and placement depth of the roots to ensure blooming?

Answer from NGA
April 29, 1998
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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