Prized for their wonderful fragrance, lilacs are a mainstay of the spring landscape in northern and colder climates. Easy to grow, tough as nails, deer resistant and relatively free from major pests, they are one of the most effective flowering shrubs.

Sadly, not all lilacs are suited to the heat of the south. They often need a long period of winter chill for buds to mature and bloom the following spring. However, some lilac varieties and cultivars bloom well in the Upper South Region.

To get the best flowers and succeed in growing lilac bushes, you need to follow these easy rules: choose a proper site for your lilac with good drainage, good soil, good sun and provide good care.

  • Full sun lovers, lilacs are easily grown in fertile, humus-rich, alkaline to neutral, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Light shade is tolerated but the best flower production occurs in full sun.
  • Lilacs also need space. Good air circulation is important in order to reduce powdery mildew issues.
  • Prompt removal of faded flowers before seed set will increase the bloom production in the following year.
  • If pruning is desired, it should be done immediately after flowering to maintain flower production the next year. Lilacs begin to set buds for the following year shortly after they finish blooming.

Here is a list of beautiful lilac varieties and cultivars for the Upper South Region.