Monday, April 7, 2008
My Garden Index: Lilacs
Being new to gardening I need all the help I can get to keep my plants looking great.
So I do a lot of Internet research.
Here is what I found from the Gardener's Network about the care and maintenance of lilacs.
Lilacs are a low-maintenance shrub. They offer good summer shade after they have reached several feet tall They can be used as a hedgerow, to provide privacy from neighboring properties. With just a little care and maintenance, and the knowledge of how to replenish the old wood with new shoots, the shrubs will last a lifetime.
Lilacs do not like to get their feet (the roots) wet for a prolonged period of time. They do best on hillsides, slightly elevated areas, or level ground where there is good drainage. Their roots run deep. If you have an extended dry period or drought, water infrequently but thoroughly. Lilacs do not grow well in lowlands where water tends to collect for prolonged periods of time.
Weed around your lilac bushes to maintain a clean, aesthetic look. Pile mulch high for appearance, to retain some soil moisture, and to keep weeds down. Do not make mulch so thick that new shoots are hampered from sprouting and developing.
Lilacs will tolerate almost any kind of soil, from clay to sand, with a pH of 6 to 7. Like any plants, your Lilacs will benefit from compost and humus worked into the soil to help retain some water during dry spells, and to provide additional nutrients.
You do not need to provide frequent fertilizer or organic feeding for your lilacs. Use a general purpose fertilizer in early spring or one high in Phosphorous to promote blooming. Too much nitrogen in the soil will result in poor blooms. Repeat the use of a general purpose fertilizer after the flowers have died off.
Tip: Spread your fireplace ash around the drip line of your bush for bigger and better blooms.