Carefully select the lilacs, or finish with a high-maintenance shrub

From deep violet-purple to pink to white shades, lilacs look and smell among the splendor of spring.

“If you want to have that splendor in your backyard, be careful what you choose,” said Julie Janosky, plant manager at Morton Arborret in Lease. “They are majestic for about two weeks in May, but the rest of the time, the old lizards can catch a lot,” she said.

The most popular species is the common Syringa vulgaris, a plant from the Balkans that has been around the world and has been planted in Chicago gardens since the 19th century. The decades-old lizards are still alive today.

Mature shrubs are usually 15 to 20 feet tall and about the same size. “They are powerful, they spread shrubs that need a lot of space,” Janosky said.

If a lilac has to be cut, do it soon after the bush has finished growing. “If you wait too long, you will lose spring flowers next year,” she said.

This is because lilacs bloom every summer. “You have three or four weeks to cut,” Yanosky said. “After that, you will cut the next spring flowers.”

Lilacs try to create clamps by sending new shoots from under them. “Cut out his traits to control Lila,” she said.

Old lilac are usually dense thick, old trunks, dead wood and new shoots. This congestion can disrupt blood circulation and promote powdery mildew, a common problem with older lilac species. Pruning the inside of the tree improves airflow and restores strength.

There are two ways to tackle a distorted old lilac: rejuvenate circumcision and rejuvenate.

Try to renew pruning, which is a gradual approach to retaining lilac flowers every spring. First remove all dead wood, trim the dead trunks as much as possible. Then remove the thickest trunks, digging 1 or 2 inches from the ground. “Take only one-third of the living trunks,” says Janosky. The rest of the trunks support the shrub with their sunflower leaves and sprout spring flowers.

Over the next two years, remove one-third of the oldest trees and remove dead wood. By the fourth year, all trunks will be young and strong. “After that, check every year so that the big eclipse does not come back and cut it as needed,” she said. “Always remove the old stems and make sure you do not leave more than one-third of the plant.”

For a more difficult, less tedious process, try rejuvenating the bush. Cut all the plants – 1 or 2 inches from the ground – the whole plant. New trunks will sprout next year, but they will not have flowers. “You will lose flowers for a year,” Janosky said. The first flowers appear next spring, and it takes a few years for the shrub to return to full size.

Not all lilac problems can be solved by trimming. For example, it does not return flowers to the bushes in the shade.

According to Chris Bachtel, vice president of collections and facilities at the Arboretum, lilacs grow naturally in sunny soils. Without the full sun, they will not grow.

In backyard gardens, old lilac shrubs planted in the sun may now be in the shade because the trees have grown taller or new buildings are now blocked by the sun. “If lilacs don’t have enough sun, they can’t do anything to make it bloom,” Janosky said. “It is a green shrub without large flowers.”

For gardeners who are intolerant to the environment, there are many more manageable species and varieties to grow. These small lizards usually do not need to be cut as much as the old lilacs, they only need to be cut occasionally for shape.

Meyer Lilac (Syringa Mayry) It grows to a height of 6 to 8 feet. Although it blooms well in the sun, it can withstand partial shade. It blooms a little later than normal lilac. The most common species is polyphenols.

Manchurian lilac (Syringa Patula) He is best known for his role as Miss Kim. It has fragrant purple flowers that bloom in pink to 5 to 8 feet tall.

Relaxing lilacs Although not as lush as spring, they are hybrids that bloom again in late summer or early autumn. The Bloomerang series includes several cultivars, including Bloomerang Purple (Syringa ‘Penda’); Bloomerang Dark Purple (Syringa x ‘SMSJBP7’); And Bloomerang Dwarf Pink (Syringa x ‘SMNJRPI’). They are all smaller than normal, but vary in size in the crop, so inspect each plant and choose the right size for your backyard.

For advice on trees and plants, contact the Plant Clinic at The Morton Arboretum (630-719-2424). mortonarb.org/plant-clinic, Or plantclinic@mortonarb.org). Bet Bots is a staff writer at Arboretum.

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