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.
- Hyacinth Lilacs are deciduous shrubs of upright habit in youth, fattening with age, reaching 10 to 12 ft. high and wide (300-360 cm). Because of their smaller stature, they are perfect as garden specimens or in a mixed borders with other shrubs and perennials.
- Typically blooming in mid spring, about 7-10 days earlier than Common Lilacs, Hyacinth Lilacs produce sweetly fragrant flowers that can be single or double, and are available in a wide range of colors.
- Their foliage of heart-shaped leaves remains attractive in summer and is highly resistant to powdery mildew that can plague other lilac varieties.
- 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. They thrive in chalk but dislike acidic soils. Light shade is tolerated but the best flower production occurs in full sun.
- Most Hyacinth Lilacs are not suited to the heat of the south. They need a long period of winter chill for buds to mature and bloom the following spring. The recommended growing areas are zones 3 to 7. However, several Hyacinthiflora lilac cultivars with low-chill requirements have been bred for warmer zones such as such as 'Lavender Lady', 'California Rose', 'Excel', and 'Esther Staley'.
- Lilacs begin to set buds for the following year shortly after they finish blooming. If pruning is desired, it should be done immediately after flowering to maintain flower production the next year.
- Common Lilacs have a tendency to sucker. Promptly remove root suckers to maintain a neat appearance and prevent unwanted colonial spread.