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The Plant Guide

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Chinese lilac

Syringa × chinensis

This fragrant hybrid ( S. persica  × S. vulgaris ) has slightly nodding, 6-inch-long clusters of lilac-purple flowers. It forms a spreading shrub, 15 feet tall and wide.

CareGrow in reasonably fertile, well-drained soil in full sun; prefers neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Promptly deadhead spent blossoms to produce more robust blooms for the following year. Prune lightly in late winter or early spring to maintain a healthy framework, remembering that most species form flowers the previous season. Plant in areas with good air circulation to thwart disease. Most lilacs require a period of chilling dormancy.

PropagationTake softwood cuttings or layer in early summer; graft in winter; bud in summer.

ProblemsPowdery mildew, dieback, leafroll virus, mycoplasma-like organisms (MLO), root knot nematode, Verticillium wilt, witches' broom, bacterial leaf spot, anthracnose, borers, scale, caterpillars.

  • Genus : Syringa
  • Plant Height : 10 to 15 feet
  • Plant Width : 10 to 15 feet
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Characteristics : Attracts Hummingbirds, Fragrant Flowers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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