to properly plant your lilac
Soak your bare root lilac in a bucket of water while you
prepare the hole.
2. Locate the planting hole in a sunny (at least 6 hours)
spot. Be sure the area is well drained.
3. Dig a nice wide hole 3-4' in diameter and as deep as
the height of the root system. The wider the better!
4. If you have wet heavy clay soil a raised bed would
5. Prepare a soil mix of 75% rich garden loam, 25% compost
and or manure, and two (2) scoops of Fox Hill Lilac Nursery
6. You can also mix in 2-3 five gallon buckets of course
road gravel. Lilacs love a rough gravel soil too!
7. Place the lilac in the center of the hole and back
fill firmly with your soil mix.
8. Water your lilac in with your bucket of water it was
9. Place a layer of bark mulch 3-4 inches deep covering
the planting area.
10. Follow all post-planting tips to insure your hard
work pays off!
You have now given your lilac a good home. One that can
now produce blooms for generations to come!
Post - planting tips for your lilac
If post-planting weather is hot and dry you should not
hesitate to supply your lilac with a drink. Once established
your lilac will be able to cope with dry spells, especially
if you applied bark mulch. A good sign to watch for in
water deficiency is the status of the leaves, wilting
or folded leaves can indicate your lilac needs water.
Remember that over watering can be just as harmful as
inadequate watering. Lilacs can drown. If you scrape back
the bark mulch and probe the soil, it will tell you if
your lilac is ready for another drink.
Each spring feed your lilacs with some Fox Hill Nursery
lilac food. Applying this under the bark mulch is best.
Feed your lilacs again right after blooming season ends
to encourage flower bud set for next year. Our lilac food
is enriched with lime and seaweed meal. Lilacs like a
near neutral soil pH. That is why we use this fertilizer
on our own lilacs.
Please dare to prune your lilacs. Its the most important
step needed to insure good quality flower production.
The best blooms are borne on vigorous young wood; therefore
you should try and keep new wood constantly developing.
Regular pruning does this once your lilac has reached
a height of 6-8. The best time to prune is in the
winter when your lilac is dormant. If you cant bear
to lose any blooms then you should prune right after the
blooming period ends. First remove all broken or dead
branches. Next cut back all "skyrocketing" trunks
to a few inches above ground level. Finally thin out the
new suckers and leave only the best ones so they can become
your next flower producers. If you have a real over-grown
lilac that needs to be restored, then you should cut back
to a few inches above ground level (a third of the lilac
each year) until you have it under control. A word of
caution if your old lilac is of the grafted type this
method of pruning will not work.
Prune in early spring before the leaves appear if your
looking just for lots of new growth. This early pruning
will sacrafice flower buds but help when trying to rejuvinate
an old lilac or help fatten a young small bush. Prune
right after blooming season ends as the flowers are fading
if you don't want to risk cutting off any flower buds.
Top Three Lilac Questions
When is the best time to plant lilacs and why?
This is the question most often asked by people who
buy our lilacs. If you are ordering mail order lilacs
the two best planting times are spring and fall. If you
are buying lilacs at our nursery and taking them right
home then April through October is best. Fall really is
a great time for planting lilacs. We do over 75% of our
transplanting in the fall. We encourage you to try fall
shipping for lilacs that are sold out in the spring or
on orders placed too late.
Spring Shipping: Begins when the snow
melts and the ground thaws at the nursery. It ends when
the lilacs begin to leaf out.
Fall Shipping: Begins after a killing
frost hits the nursery. It ends when the ground freezes.
Are there any lilacs that will live and flower down south
where its so hot and dry?
Most lilacs need a dormant period of cold or drought
conditions to help insure the proper setting of flower
buds. There is exception to every rule and some lilacs
will flower in the warmer zones of 8 and 9. The following
is a list of lilacs we carry that are worth a try:
1. Lavender Lady
2. Miss Kim
4. Angel White
5. Sister Justena
Why doesnt my lilac bloom?
Lilacs can fail to bloom for any number of reasons.
The following list is things you can do to help promote
flower buds for next year:
1. Be sure your lilac gets at least 6 hours of sun
2. Follow all post-planting tips.
3. Remove all grass and weeds and add 2-3" of mulch.