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The Plant Guide

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Common lilac

Syringa vulgaris 'Sensation'

sih-RIN-gah vul-GAR-is

In midseason this unique cultivar bears slightly fragrant, single purple blossoms with distinct white margins. It forms a shrub 12 feet high by 8 feet wide.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsLilac flowers are beloved for bouquets, and when in bloom, hummingbirds and butterflies are drawn to them. Lilacs are generally a forgiving bunch, tolerant of roadside sites and neglect. 

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 or renovate 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.  Because lilacs are fire retardant, they can be considered for planting near homes that are susceptible to wildfires. Most lilacs require a period of chilling dormancy.

PropagationSow seed in a cold frame when fresh or in the spring. Take 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
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
  • Characteristics : Attracts Hummingbirds, Fragrant Flowers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Flower Color : White
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Comments

  1. user-7007030 06/18/2014

    I have had my French Sensation lilac bush for at least 4 years and it has never bloomed. What could I be doing wrong. It is not in full sun all day but does get at least 4 hours of sun most days. It is not crowded where it is planted.

  2. ukipalotian 06/27/2014

    First question would be as to whether you are trimming it back each year. If so this would explain no flowers. You'll need to leave the growth alone for flowers the following year.

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