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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
2014-06-20 14 12 25

POTW: Japanese Tree Lilac

Plant of the Week!

This week the beautiful Japanese Tree Lilacs (Syringa reticulata) are blooming! This lilac differs from the much loved Common Lilac in size and flower. The Japanese tree lilac is more of a small tree in habit growing to 15-25 feet tall.

In early summer, this tree blooms with clusters of creamy white flowers, blooming later than most other species of lilac. Missouri Botanic Garden also notes that prompt removal of faded flower panicles before seed set can help increase bloom in the following year. In contrast though, I like the appearance of the seed heads and like to use them in dried arrangements. If you need to prune, be sure to do so immediately after flowering. Like many early season bloomers, pruning too early will cause many of the pre-formed flower buds to be removed.

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun, this lilac tolerates light shade, but has best bloom is in full sun. It prefers rich, moist, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils. It also has no serious insect or disease problems making it a low maintenance plant with excellent resistance to powdery mildew and other common lilac diseases.

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