How to Care for Syringa Lilacs


There are approximately 2,000 varieties of Syringa lilac, also called French or common lilac, available. Syringa lilacs have long been garden favorites, adored for their heavily scented blooms, which are available in a wide range of colors, including purple, pink, white and light yellow. This bush produces flowers from late spring until early summer and will attract a host of colorful visitors to your garden. Syringa lilacs do not require a lot of attention and with so many varieties available, you are sure to find one that will suit your needs.

Step 1

Dig a planting hole that is double the width and the same depth as the lilac's growing container. Place the root ball into the hole at the same depth it was previously growing. Replace the loosened soil around the roots carefully, and pat down well once the hole is refilled.

Step 2

Water at the time of planting until the soil feels very moist, but not soggy. Add a three-inch layer of mulch around the lilac's base to control weeds and hold in moisture. Keep the mulch three to four inches from the plant's trunk.

Step 3

Add water two to three times each week during the first month after planting. Once the Syringa lilac is established, water often enough to ensure that the plant receives one inch of water each week during spring and summer.

Step 4

Feed the plant in early spring, beginning the second year after planting, with 5-10-5 fertilizer. Apply one handful of lime around the lilac's base every other year to maintain the proper soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0.

Step 5

Clip off the blooms as they fade to promote an attractive appearance. Prune off one-third of the lilac's old wood all the way to the base of the plant if bloom production slows. It's best to do heavy pruning two weeks after the last flowers have faded.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over-water your Syringa lilac, as it cannot tolerate extremely moist soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • 5-10-5 fertilizer
  • Lime
  • Pruning shears


  • Syringa Plus: Lilac Care
  • University of Illinois Extension: Growing Lilacs
  • West Virginia University Extension Service ~ Berkeley County: May Flowers- Lilacs in Bloom
Keywords: syringa lilacs, syringa lilac care, lilac bush, grow lilacs, common lilac, french lilac

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.