French lilacs are tough, drought-tolerant deciduous shrubs that will bloom profusely every spring with very little attention, perfuming the air with their sweet aroma. French lilacs will reach heights of 8 to 15 feet at maturity, and depending on the variety, will bloom in colors of lavender, white, magenta, pink and purple. A few simple steps are necessary to keep lilacs looking their best.
Things You'll Need
- 5-10-10 fertilizer
- Garden pruners
Plant French lilac in full sun. Although the shrub will grow in partial shade, full sunlight will bring out the biggest, brightest blooms. French lilac will grow in nearly any type of soil, as long as the soil drains well.
Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch such as pine bark around the base of the shrub, and replenish the mulch when it blows away or decomposes. Mulch will stabilize the soil temperature, conserve moisture and deter weeds.
Remove blooms as soon as they wilt. French lilacs can sometime look unkempt, and removing the blooms will keep the shrub looking neat, and will promote good air circulation. Put dead blooms on the compost pile, and don't allow plant litter to pile up under the shrub.
Fertilize French lilacs in spring or mid-autumn if growth appears to be sluggish. Use a 5-10-10 fertilizer applied at a rate of 1/2 lb. for every 25 square feet of planting area. French lilacs that are growing vigorously shouldn't be fertilized.
Prune French lilacs immediately after spring blooming, as pruning later in the season will remove next year's blooms. Prune any dead or spindly branches. Cut 1/3 of old growth to the ground every year, as lilacs bloom best on younger growth. If necessary, thin dense top growth to enable sunlight to reach the center of the plant.
- Photo Credit lilacs image by Lena GrÃ¶nwall from Fotolia.com
How to Care for Lilac Bushes
Lilac is a genus of flowering shrubs consisting of 25 species native to Asia and Europe. They can grow up to 30...
How to Prune a Dwarf Lilac Tree
Pruning a lilac tree gives it a shape that can help it to look like an ornamental tree even after the blooming...
Most Fragrant Lilac Bushes
Lilacs are highly prized for their sweet fragrance in spring. They thrive in rich, well-draining, slightly alkaline soil in a sunny location....