The lilac flower, also known as ‘serenella’, is a wonderful ornamental plant that enhances any outdoor environment and also creates impressive decorative barriers. During the spring flowering period, lilac floods the garden with its enchanting scent and is visually striking with its panicle-shaped flowers.
Lilac is native to the Middle East but has also adapted to our country, where it is widespread. Let’s discover together today the characteristics of this beautiful shrub with enchanting flowers.
The lilac plant (serenella)
The lilac flower is native to the Middle East and arrived in Europe in the 18th century. The nurseryman Victor Lemoine has improved his qualities and it is thanks to him that we now have several varieties of this charming plant which adorns gardens, terraces and makes beautiful borders. Lilacs form dense shrubs or small trees with multiple trunks up to 4 meters wide. It grows quickly and its foliage is deciduous. The flowers of lilac, which appear between April and May, form pyramidal clusters and range in color from white and red to pink, blue and purple.
Lilac: cultivation of the plant
The lilac plant likes semi-shaded areas and does not appreciate direct sunlight. Its soil must be alkaline, rich in organic substances and well drained, to avoid waterlogging. Lilacs also grow well in calcareous soil, but not in stony, dry soil. In summer, especially if they are young and newly planted, they need regular watering, even if they are grown in pots. Watering is done only during the growing period, from April to October. When it has not been watered for a while, the leaves of the lilac will begin to wilt slightly.
When to plant lilacs
Lilacs should be planted when it’s cold and frozen outside, September through May. These plants are not difficult to grow as any garden soil will do, if it is sunny. The soil in which they will be planted should be dug deep enough to remove weed roots and stones. Manure can also be added to enrich the soil with organic substances.
When you buy them, lilacs are found in containers. Before planting, the plant should be submerged in a bucket of water to hydrate the root ball. Then you make a hole about 50 cm deep and place a lack of grilled cornunghia or a fertilizer of the type used for roses in it.
Then cover everything with a layer of soil with a third of planting soil. Then the shrub is flared, the roots are detached so that they can rotate at the bottom of the root ball, and the plant is placed so that the top is at ground level. The hole is then filled with a mixture of two-thirds of local soil and one-third of planting soil so that the lilacs can take root. Watering, with about 15 liters of water, is the last step to allow the soil to settle naturally. The branches should be pruned by a third to help the shrub take root and make it more robust.
Pruning a lilac plant
At the end of winter, lilacs have buds that will produce panicles of flowers in the following months. Lilacs are pruned immediately after flowering by removing wilted panicles and shortening the branches. This way, one can easily produce new shoots which will bloom the following spring. In addition, the plant also branches off in the lower part of the stem and grows more densely.
Many suckers form around the lilac, which month after month grows as tall as the shrub that gave birth to them. If the lilac is in a small area, the suckers should be removed as soon as they emerge. If, on the contrary, the plant is in a spacious place, then they can develop without problems, and year after year the shrub will form a real hedge.
What other plants to combine Lilacs with
Lilacs can also be paired with other plants to create incredible bursts of color. These are, for example, the snowball and the weigelia, shrubs that bloom simultaneously. It is sufficient that the plants in question are spaced about one meter apart.
The thicket can support a light climbing plant such as a clematis, the corollas of which can be enhanced by the addition of lilac plants. These flowers form sumptuous bouquets. If you cut them in the morning and cut off the stem at the base, they can be placed in a vase with water and become a beautiful decoration that lasts up to ten days.
Lilac in pots
Lilac is a hardy shrub that does not require a lot of care, especially if it has been in place for a long time. If the lilac seedling is planted in a pot, it should be large. There are also dwarf varieties of lilac on the market that do not grow very tall and are ideal for those with limited indoor space.
In the summer, the soil of potted lilacs dries up completely and therefore the plant should be watered more frequently as the soil should be kept moist and cool. Suckers should be removed immediately, otherwise the lilac will not be able to find enough space in the pot.
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