Lilac pruning

Don’t forget the lilacs!

Lilac shrubs and trees. Sound a bit old fashioned? There are good reasons lilacs have been the go to choice for great landscape plants for so long.

Lilacs deliver with loads of luscious blossoms every spring and early summer. Lilacs are tough and versatile, able to deliver great performance decade after decade from International Falls all the way to the mid-continent states

Sun loving lilacs can prosper in difficult alkaline soils often found in southern Minnesota as well as mild and moderately acidic soils, and require properly drained locations. Avoid planting lilacs in wet spots.

The common lilac family is best known and produces 6 to 14 foot tall dense multi-stem large shrubs that are great for framing a portion of the landscape, or for privacy and windbreaks. Excellent varieties are Common Purple or White Lilac, Albert Holden, Charles Joly and Sensation.

Dwarf lilacs that typically grow to heights of 4 to 8 feet have gained in popularity since their smaller size makes them a good choice for modest sized properties. Some of my favorite are Dwarf Korean Lilac, Bloomerang Purple Lilac, Scent and Sensablity Lilac and the Miss Kim Lilac. The dwarf lilacs will do well in full sun to half sun areas, and just like their common lilac cousins, do require properly drained soils.

Dwarf lilacs are also useful as small trees, and the whole family of Japanese Lilac Trees can be a great choice where you want a small to medium sized flowering tree of 15-25 feet in height.

Are you old fashioned enough to give lilacs a try? If so, you will be rewarded with lovely blossoms and excellent hardiness.