Care of a Pocahontas Lilac Shrub

Overview

Plant a Pocahontas lilac shrub in your backyard or garden to enjoy its fragrant, bluish-purple blooms from early to late spring through fall. This multi-stemmed deciduous shrub grows up to 12 feet tall and 9 feet wide, dressing up a particular spot with its vibrant color. Botanically called "Syringa x hyacinthiflora," this early-flowering lilac shrub is also known as hyacinth-flowered lilac and blooms earlier and longer than other lilac cultivars. Care for this beautiful shrub appropriately so it continues to produce healthy blooms that spruce up the spot and decorate it naturally.

Step 1

Plant your Pocahontas lilac shrub in a sunny spot (six to eight hours of direct sunlight) with well-drained, acidic soil that has a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Add sulfur or lime to lower or raise or lower pH level so it falls in the required range.

Step 2

Feed the shrub a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus fertilizer in the spring, just before new growth. Follow label directions for required application rates. Feed the shrub a balanced fertilizer after the blooming period.

Step 3

Spread a 3-to-4-inch layer of organic mulch around your Pocahontas lilac shrub to help retain moisture and keep the roots cool. Mulching also prevent weeds from growing around the shrub, thus reducing competition for water and nutrients in the soil.

Step 4

Water the shrub two or three times a week the first year after planting, to encourage the roots to establish themselves. Use a garden hose and water at soil level to prevent the foliage from getting wet. Reduce watering once it establishes itself. However, keep the soil evenly moist at all times in spring, when it blooms.

Step 5

Trim the Pocahontas lilac bush immediately after the flowering period. Use sharp pruning shears to remove old, dry and diseased, or stubborn, wayward branches. Your Pocahontas lilac goes into producing buds for the next year immediately, so you may cut new buds accidentally if you wait too long before trimming it.

Step 6

Prune the shrub so it is well rounded. Step back to determine which branches you should remove, so you do not prune too much off. Also remove a few select branches from the interior to help increase air circulation.

Step 7

Inspect your Pocahontas lilac shrub for powdery mildew--a white dusty coating on the foliage. Apply an appropriate fungicide that is safe for lilacs over the infestation. Follow label directions for application, and apply the fungicide every two weeks until you cure your shrub. Spray insecticide over your shrub to deter pests such as spider mites or aphids.

Things You'll Need

  • Sulfur or lime
  • High-phosphorus, low-nitrogen fertilizer
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Organic mulch
  • Garden hose
  • Pruning shears
  • Fungicide
  • Insecticide

References

  • Schriemer's Home & Garden Showplace: Pocahontas Lilac
  • The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University: How to Plant and Care for Lilacs
  • Lotus Lawn & Garden: Pocahontas Lilac

Who Can Help

  • Extension Infonet: Powdery Mildew on Lilac
Keywords: lilac shrub, Pocahontas lilac, Pocahontas lilac care

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.