How to Grow Lilacs and Lilac Bush Care

Lilac Flowers 12-21

How to Grow Lilacs

Lilac bushes grow well with little or no maintenance. However, the more you learn about how to grow lilacs, the greater your reward in more profuse, more aromatic blooms. 

Aside from Roses, there is no flower as beautiful and aromatic as Lilacs. Of the two, Lilacs have a stronger scent, that carries a much farther distance. Unfortunately, Lilacs bloom for only a very brief couple of weeks in the spring. While these lovely plants do well all by themselves, learning how to grow lilacs, will result in healthier bushes and much better, more consistent blooms. To prolong the blooming period in your yard, grow a variety of Lilacs. They should consist of early, mid and late variety bushes. With a variety of bushes and a little luck, you will have Lilacs blooming in your yard for up to six weeks.

The weather has a lot to do with how long your blooms last. Once the buds begin to open, pray for a cool, dry spell, that will prolong them. After the blooms are over, you still have a nice shade bush. But unlike roses, lilacs only bloom once a year. You have to wait for up to fifty more weeks to see them again.

How To Grow Lilac Information

How to Grow – Learn how to grow beautiful, fragrant plants.
Lilac Festivals – These Spring festivals are very popular. 
Lilac Sunday – It’s a holiday worth celebrating.
Flowers – About these beautiful blooms.
Lilac Pictures – See our lilac photo gallery.
Lilac Trivia – Cute and informant trivia.
Planting and Transplanting – how and when to move bushes.
Propagation – How to make new plants.
Pruning Lilacs – There’s a right way and a wrong way.
Pests and Disease – Prevent plant problems.
Varieties – There are hundreds of varieties.
California Lilac – It’s a tree.
Why no Blooms? – Identify and correct blooming problems.
Lilac Poem – By Walt Whitman.
Buy Lilac Bushes – Add beauty to your yard.

How to Grow Lilacs - Lilac Names

You and I generally know them as Lilacs. However, they have a number of other names, including:

Botanical Name: Syringa, Oleaceae

Other Names: Persian Lilac, Common Lilac, Asian Lilac ( used when referring to Asian varieties), Blewe Pipe Trees, Prince’s Feathers, Duck’s Bills, Spanish Ash

How to Grow Lilacs, a little history.

To grow them is to love them. These prolific blooming bushes were just too beautiful and fragrant to remain in their native lands. Lilacs were introduced in the United States in the mid-1750s. They were grown in America’s first botanical gardens and were popular in New England. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew them in their gardens. Lilac bushes can live for hundreds of years. Lilacs originated from Europe and Asia, with the majority of natural varieties coming from Asia. European lilacs originated in the Balkans, France, and Turkey.

Did You Know? Lilacs are edible. Please pass the Lilac salad!

Where is the Lilac Capital of the World?

Many areas grow lilacs, and many have a wide variety in large numbers. Rochester, N.Y. undoubtedly is the Lilac Capital of the World. Its love for Lilacs dates back to 1892 when Highland Park horticulturalist John Dunbar planted 20 varieties on the sunny southern slopes of the park. Highland Park in Rochester is the scene of an annual, two-week-long Lilac Festival, with over half a million people attending the event each year. This park has over 500 varieties of lilacs and more than 1200 lilac bushes in the parks’ 155 acres. The annual Rochester Lilac Festival includes food, top-quality entertainment, races, and much more.

In addition, many homes and parks in the Rochester, NY area have one or more lilac bushes. If you take a ride along many of the Finger Lakes, you will find thousands of them along the roadside. The sweet fragrance comes right through your open window, as you drive along.

A Stately Bush: On August 18, 2006, New York State Governor George Pataki proclaimed the Lilac as the State bush.

White Lilacs

Lilac Cities

In addition to Rochester, NY, a few other cities in the U.S. and Canada are well known for their love of Lilacs. They include:

Cornwall in Ontario, Canada boasts the “City of Lilacs” and rivals Rochester, NY in size of their collection.

Rochester, New Hampshire also calls itself the “Lilac City”. Lilacs are the state flower.

Spokane, Washington is nicknamed the “Lilac City”.  Each spring, they have a parade and festival.

Many cities hold an annual Lilac Festival. The Lilacs take center stage. However, these festivals also feature bands and other live entertainments, arts and craft booths, food Tents, 5k or 10k races, and more. Find a Lilac Festival.

Did You Know?

There are over 1,000 varieties of Lilacs. They come in several colors, with the most popular being the colors lilac and purple. White and pink are also popular. They also vary widely in size from the small 4 to 8-foot varieties to types that can grow up to 30 feet.

More How to Grow Lilacs Resources

International Lilac Society

When Lilacs Last Bloomed A poem by Walt Whitman (1865)

Growing Lilacs – from Garden Hobbies

Buy Lilac Bushes select from popular Lilac varieties

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    Please support our site. Shop for:

    Scroll to top