Tuesday, March 25, 2014


            There is a race run on Mackinaw Island the first weekend of June, they call it the Lilac Run. Up there the Lilacs are either just beginning, or are all flowered out and looking beautiful; down around here though they are just past their zenith.

            One of the most fragrant of the spring time bloomers the Lilac is a welcomed sight to mother’s with small children; for it means the end of muddy springtime shoes and the beginning of a little dryer summer weather.

            Lilacs come in three bloom colors, purple, pink, and white. They must be grown in full sun; but can be planted in almost any soil.

            There are three varieties sold in our area, the common purple, the French hybrids, and the dwarfs.
            The Common purple was the original in our neck of the woods; you probably remember them at Grandma’s house growing up. These can get to 12 feet with a spread that could take up the whole yard if the rhizoming roots are left to travel the countryside.
Lilacs propagate themselves through this process, roots grow and spread, popping up new stems along the way. This new stem becomes an extension of the mother plant and more new roots take off from there. The mowers keeps a lot of these in check near the lawn, but you will to dig out the rest if you wish the bush to be contained.

            The French hybrids are mainly what you see now. They are shorter, reaching 8 feet, and are slower to rhizome out. They are the ones that come in colors other than light purple, and even in purple they can be anywhere from the very light, to the deep purple in the Ludwig Spaeth .

            The Dwarfs, or Korean Lilacs, grow to about 4 to 5 feet in height. I have not known them to be rhizomers, their width is equal to their height. They come in two leaf sizes, long and slender, and round, about the size of a quarter;. Their flowers kind of resemble a spindly lilac, but, if you’ve got a landscape that is “expanse challenged” the dwarfs will be right up your alley, or if you had an alley you might be able to plant them there.

            Good flower production grows on “new wood”; as the bush becomes older its flower count goes down. Cutting out the old rough barky limbs will give more room for the smooth stemmed  young stuff to grow.
            If you want to see your Lilac really take off, remove the flowers as they die out; this will keep the bush from wasting energy on seed production and pump more juice into stem production, more stems, more flowers in the spring.   

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

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