General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Plant Height: 10-15 feet
Plant Spread: 6-12 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Lavender
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies
Containers: Not suitable for containers

Common names
  • Common Lilac
  • Lilac
  • French Lilac
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Syringa vulgaris
  • Synonym: Syringa nigricans

This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Skiekitty (Denver Metro - Zone 5a) on Feb 28, 2013 2:28 PM concerning plant:
    Never trim this plant in the fall/winter. If you do, you will not get blooms the following year. Always, if you need to trim, do so right after it blooms in late spring/early summer. This plant blooms ONLY on old-wood, never new growth.

    If you're lacking in blooms, make sure that this plant gets a lot of moisture in the winter. Dry climates can prevent lilacs from blooming if they don't get a lot of moisture in the winter. The more snow/water they get in the winter, the more blooms you'll see. If we don't get snow, I always winter water my lilacs just like the trees. My neighbor has a lilac the same age/size and about 5 feet away from my lilac and you can tell that I winter water & they don't.. the blooms on their lilacs are very stingy whereas mine will be covered in blooms.
  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 1, 2014 8:48 PM concerning plant:
    Syringa vulgaris is a larval host plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies.
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 1, 2012 3:53 PM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 5, 2019 7:44 PM concerning plant:
    The Common Lilac is native to southeast Europe and Asia Minor. It is a very common and well-known shrub in the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, and the northern part of the South USA. While there are a large number of cultivars based on a range of flower colors from white to pink to magenta to various shades of purple, including blue-purple, and including single to double flowers, it is still the regular, light purple, single flowered, straight species that is sold the most from conventional nurseries, and then single white as the second most bought. This is the species that has the best, strongest fragrance and that makes a good cut flower. This upright, tall shrub can be trained to be more tree-like or more bushy depending on pruning methods. An older plant can be rejuvenated by cutting it low to the ground in early spring, though it will take a few years to re-bloom. It normally gets a lot of mildew on the foliage in late summer and early fall, and no fall color.
  • Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Oct 13, 2013 7:32 PM concerning plant:
    While the shrubs themselves are not overly pretty, nothing beats the scent of the spring blooms.
  • Posted by robertduval14 (Milford, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 16, 2013 8:24 PM concerning plant:
    New Hampshire's state flower.
Plant Events from our members
Chillybean On April 25, 2015 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
Killed by chopping it down before the next stinkers bloomed. Replaced with a native Serviceberry.
vanillabright On March 11, 2016 Bloomed
Buds on plant closest to house.
vanillabright On March 2, 2016 Plant emerged
Both Lilacs budding
WebTucker On April 17, 2022 Bloomed
antsinmypants On April 15, 2020 Obtained plant
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What a beautiful photo by vic Jan 26, 2012 3:57 PM 2
Oh I can just smell it!! by Dutchlady1 Apr 21, 2012 11:56 AM 4
ŠeŘÍk by bamira Sep 19, 2014 10:08 AM 1
Pruning and other observations by jsf67 Jan 29, 2017 12:53 PM 0
Cat with red t-shirt by webesemps Jun 28, 2017 8:58 PM 23
Update by Paintedtrillium May 30, 2022 2:47 PM 0
Beautiful Lilac by Paintedtrillium Jun 2, 2022 7:13 AM 2

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