Plant Family Guides: Syringa - Lilacs
Prized for its delightful fragrance, Syringa vulgaris (Common Lilac) is 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, Common Lilacs are one of the most effective flowering shrubs. Tailored to meet the needs of all gardens, this species counts 2000 cultivars.
Vigorous, Syringa x hyacinthiflora are early-flowering hybrids between Syringa oblata (Early Lilac) and Syringa vulgaris (Common Lilac). Exceptionally hardy, these terrific shrubs reward us with an abundance of exquisitely scented flowers in mid spring, about 7-10 days earlier than common lilacs. But this is not their only charm. Their foliage often colors up to shades of red, purple and gold in fall, extending their season of interest. As an added bonus, they are highly resistant to powdery mildew, unlike many other lilac varieties. Easy to grow, Hyacinth Lilacs are low-maintenance shrubs that will grow and flower profusely without much attention. They should be on every gardener’s list.
While extraordinarily good-looking on their own during their blooming season, Lilacs do not add much sparkle during the rest of the growing season. To extend their season of interest, they need companion plants that will provide color against the green foliage of the midsummer lilacs. Well-behaved, they make perfect partners with other shrubs or perennials and help create strikingly beautiful combinations in the garden.
A lilac in full bloom, with its heavenly fragrance, is a breathtaking sight. A mainstay of the spring landscape in northern and colder climates, lilacs are one of the most effective flowering shrubs. Easy to grow, tough as nails, deer resistant and relatively free from major pests, these hardy shrubs have been tailored to meet the needs of all gardens, including small gardens. There are now lilacs that rarely grow more than 3-4 ft. (90-120 cm) tall, which makes them suitable plants for small gardens and containers.