Syringa vulgaris 'Monge' (Lilac) is an upright, deciduous shrub with incredibly showy panicles, 9 in. long (22 cm), packed with wonderfully fragrant, single, reddish-purple flowers. Blooming in late spring, the abundant blossoms last 3-4 weeks and make a dramatic display. The flowers are held on long stems that lend themselves to great cut flowers. The erect, open branches are clothed in blue-green, heart-shaped leaves that remain attractive in summer. Introduced in 1913, this highly regarded French lilac remains popular as ever. To extend the season of interest of your lilac, grow clematis with different bloom times through its branches to add color and glamour to the shrub. Perfect for sunny mixed borders.
- Grows up to 10-12 ft. tall (300-360 cm) and 8-12 ft. wide (240-360 cm).
- A full sun lover, this plant is easily grown in fertile, humus-rich, alkaline to neutral, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Thrives in chalk but dislikes acidic soils. Tolerates light shade, but the best flower production occurs in full sun. Appreciates mulching when planted in full sun. Needs good air circulation.
- No serious insect or disease problems. May get leaf-mining moths, thrips or be affected by lilac blight
- Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds but is deer resistant.
- Plant as a specimen or massed in mixed shrub borders for dramatic spring blooms. Use it in the perennial border to add structure to a bed. Great flowering shrub that is perfect for flowering hedges or foundation plantings.
- Propagate by softwood cuttings or layering in early summer. Grafting can be done in winter and chip budding in summer.
- Prune immediately after flowering. Prompt removal of faded flowers before seed set will increase the bloom production in the following year. Promptly remove root suckers to maintain a neat appearance and prevent unwanted colonial spread.