How to Plant a Lilac


Lilacs are second only to roses in popularity of flowering bushes. You might think of lilacs with purple-lilac colored blooms. However, there are more than a thousand varieties. These scented blooms come in many shades of purple, pink, white, rose and blue. This low-maintenance perennial is easy to plant and can last a lifetime when cared for properly.

Step 1

Plant your lilac in well-drained soil. That means that if you have a clay soil, dig up the planting location and amend it with compost and sand. Lilacs do not do well with it's roots sitting in soggy water. Another option is to plant on a mound of dirt, where the rain and irrigation can run off the sides. Choose a location that gets six hours of sun or more.

Step 2

Dig a hole just a bit larger than the pot your lilac comes in, but at the same depth. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole with your shovel.

Step 3

Remove the lilac plant from it's container by turning it upside down, while holding onto the trunk with one hand. If it does not budge, tap the sides of the container all the way around, until the plant comes loose.

Step 4

Place the plant into the hole with the root system facing vertically. Do not spread the roots outward, as is done with some bushes and trees. Push soil around the sides, until it is compact. Do not pile dirt over the top of the potted plant soil to the extent that it covers any of the exposed trunk.

Step 5

Plant additional lilac plants at 5-foot intervals. This spacing will give the roots and limbs enough room to spread out as the lilacs mature.

Step 6

Water your new bush, thoroughly. Always give your lilac a deep watering, but only when weather conditions are dry and warm. Although, the roots do not like sitting in water, they do run deep into the earth.

Step 7

Spread a light application of mulch (covering made from bark, leaves or grass) over the ground under your lilac bush. This will keep weeds down and protect the plant from harsh weather. Too much mulch will hold in more moisture than the plant requires.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost (optional)
  • Sand (optional)
  • Mulch


  • International Lilac Site
  • The Gardener's Network
  • Gardening Know How
Keywords: plant lilac, lilac care, lilac bush

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.