Actual topic

How to plant lilacs

Photos of lilac varieties - on the page Common lilac.

Planting lilacs is not difficult. And, as a rule, it takes root well. It is enough just not to make gross mistakes. The older the transplanted bushes, the more carefully you need to follow the planting rules - large specimens are more vulnerable. Young seedlings and, moreover, seedlings in containers require much less attention.

What are these “bottlenecks” fraught with fatal mistakes? The main thing is the landing time (or rather, the correct care corresponding to a certain time) and, of course, the correct choice of the landing site.

Lilac in ideal conditions


First, let's talk about the timing of planting.

If you want to plant lilacs as simply and without worries as possible, plant them on time. The most favorable period in the Middle Lane is from mid-August to the end of September. At this time, the lilac is almost dormant, and before the onset of winter, there are still enough warm days for it to take root well. And do not be confused by the presence of foliage on the bushes. When it falls, it will be too late to plant. Lilac leaves retain their green freshness until the very frost.

So, planting at the optimal time, we simplify post-plant care to the limit - it is enough to water well once, and that's it. But what if you can't plant on time? Then you will have to take additional measures to neutralize adverse factors. Let's consider the options.

1. If you have hesitated with planting, and less than a month remains before the onset of frost, after watering, the trunk circle should be covered with some loose material, for example, a dry leaf, wood shavings, peat. A thick (20 cm or more) layer of mulch will not allow the ground to freeze quickly and thereby add rooting time. The base of the lilac trunks must be isolated from the mulching material, so that in the event of warming, it does not provoke rot. In its simplest form, this can be done using a piece of a plastic bottle. In the spring, as soon as the snow melts, the mulch should be removed, otherwise it, on the contrary, will prevent the soil from warming up.

2. If frosts found you with already dug lilac planting material, dig in it obliquely in a protected place, like fruit seedlings. And then you will plant in the spring. I recommend preparing the pits in advance, because the earlier in the spring it turns out to plant lilacs, the better it will take root. The beginning of spring planting is limited only by the ability to dig the ground, so a ready-made hole, already adjusted to the size of the plant root system, will come in handy.

This number will not work with adult lilacs. We leave them in place until next fall. Or, if you can't wait in any way, we turn to specialists for winter transplantation of large-sized vehicles.

Digging a large-sized lilacPlanting a large-sized lilac

3. Spring planting, as we already know, the more successful the earlier it is made. In any case, you need to be in time before the kidneys awaken. In the Middle Lane, this is difficult to do, since the lilac begins the growing season early and actively. I hate planting lilacs in spring! Shoot growth and flowering in themselves require a lot of "strength", and if you force the plant to take root at the same time ... It is clear that none of these processes will proceed normally.

Lilac root system

How to help a lilac to survive if you managed to plant it in the spring?

  • Flower buds, if present, must be removed. You can leave a couple to make sure that this is the right variety (or, alas, the wrong one).
  • When planting in spring, lilacs need to be watered regularly, especially if the weather is dry. And so as not to flood, otherwise the roots "suffocate". After each watering, loosen the soil of the trunk circle.
  • When planting, treatment with a root stimulator, for example, "Kornevin", is mandatory. We use Zircon, Epin HB-101 and other modern drugs as needed. If the plant is trying to wither, we spray it regularly all summer. If he looks healthy, stimulant treatments can be dispensed with.

In the first summer after planting, any lilac transplanted with an open root system may develop worse. This is expressed in a weak growth of shoots and inadequate flowering. The transplanted at the wrong time “gets sick” longer. Such lilacs need to be monitored, watered and sprayed, perhaps even protected from wind and sun. You can't transplant it like this and leave, leaving it to the mercy of fate. Don't you feel like planting lilacs in spring yet?

Let me remind you once again that the above measures are mandatory for seedlings with an open root system, with others we are guided by the circumstances.

How to choose a place to plant lilacs?

Now we will not talk about the intricacies of landscape design, although they also take place. Without taking into account the environmental requirements of lilacs, all attempts to “make it beautiful” are meaningless. The condition of the bushes and the duration of their life depend on this.

Lilac in ideal conditions

Ideal conditions for common lilac and its varieties:

  • area on a plain or gentle slope with good drainage;
  • the occurrence of groundwater is not closer than 1.5 m from the surface;
  • the soil is moderately moist and fertile;
  • soil acidity, close to neutral (pH 6.6-7.5);
  • sunlight for most of the day;
  • protection from the prevailing cold winds.

In such a place suitable in all respects, it will perfectly develop and bloom with little or no care.

However, common lilac is unpretentious and is able to survive in rather harsh conditions. In nature, it grows in the mountains on rocky slopes, where the soil is so-so and the climate is harsh. But the sun is enough there. And if you plant lilacs in the shade, you won't have to rely on lush bushes. There the lilac stretches out, blooms weakly, or even does not bloom at all. But this is not the worst thing.

Lilacs are planted on a slope and mulchedLilacs in a group planting

Worse if the soil is not the same. The poor composition is not so dangerous, although lilac varieties grow better on cultivated garden soil. Lilacs cannot develop normally on very heavy structureless soils, as well as on acidic soils. Acidic soil can, of course, be neutralized with lime, dolomite flour or ash, depending on the initial pH level, but it should be understood that this is a temporary measure, and the lilac is a very durable plant. This means that it will be necessary to somehow maintain the "neutrality" of the soil, which tends to return to its initial state.

But in swampy or temporarily flooded lowland areas, common lilac will not grow at all. In this case, in my opinion, it is better to abandon it altogether. All the same, in conditions alien to ecology, it will not organically fit into the landscape. Even if you deceive nature and plant the lilacs not in a hole, but on a mound, arranged according to the principle of an alpine slide. Although, if you really want to plant lilacs, this is the way out. Only the slide should be large enough so that the lilac roots do not freeze and do not get wet.

Now you can start planting. Questions immediately arise - at what distance and how deep to dig holes?

The distance between the lilac bushes depends largely on the purpose, or rather, on the design idea. If you want the bush to develop freely to the size laid down in it by nature, it will have to provide space - at least two meters on each side, and preferably three.

Group planting of lilacs

However, such a scale is rare. Unfortunately, more often than not there is not enough space. And yet, the distance between the lilac bushes should not be less than 1.5 m.It is convenient to plant lilacs in groups of 3-7 copies, but between the groups themselves you need to maintain a distance of about 2.5-3 m.In the alleys, we plant after 1.5-2 m, in a hedge, a distance of about 1 m is permissible.

It is advisable to grow small seedlings on a separate school bed, form there, and plant them in a permanent place when they reach a height of about a meter. In the school, we maintain a distance of 30-50 cm.

Do you need to dig a huge hole? Meter per meter? In my opinion, this is superfluous. On cultivated soils, we prepare a pit for lilacs exactly according to the size of the root system of the seedling.The less fertile the soil, the more we dig a hole relative to the size of the roots. Depending on the initial qualities of the soil, we add soil-improving materials to it. To poor soil devoid of humus, after construction, etc. for nutritional value, add organic matter (humus, compost, bone meal) and mineral fertilizers (superphosphate and potassium sulfate), and even better - wood ash, dolomite and phosphate rock. Fresh manure and poultry manure are not suitable, as are nitrogen fertilizers. Very light sandy soils are flavored with clay or chernozem. All additives are thoroughly mixed with the original soil.

But sand and stones are not as bad as heavy, floating clay. Sand, neutralized peat, leaf humus and other similar additives will help to loosen it. However, I want to warn you not to get a very big difference in the mechanical composition of the surrounding soil and the prepared substrate. Otherwise, rain and melt water will collect in the planting pit, like in a well. And this is even more destructive for lilacs. If the soil is very heavy, it is better to land on an embankment, as well as in waterlogged areas.

The planting depth of lilacs can be different and depends on the type of planting material. Lilac seedlings are planted to such a depth that the root collar is at the level of the soil. But if a cultivar is grafted on an ordinary lilac seedling, it is planted so that the root collar is 2-3 cm higher, and the grafting site, respectively, is even higher. This is done so that as little as possible "wild" growth of the stock appears, which in lilacs has a stem origin.

Planting a container seedling of lilacsPlanting a small specimen of lilacs

Own-rooted lilacs, including cultured tissue, can, on the contrary, be planted a little deeper. This stimulates the development of additional roots. Well, overgrown, of course, too. The shoots of self-rooted lilacs are a full-fledged planting material, but if the shoots are undesirable, then you do not need to bury the seedling.

Varieties of common lilac, grafted on Hungarian lilac or privet, are short-lived, and it is recommended to transfer them to "their own roots", deepening the grafting site when planting. This does not guarantee rooting of the scion, but it may well lead to the formation of the same growth that will replace the grafted part if something happens to it. Fortunately, the growth of the cultivar differs markedly from the growth of privet and Hungarian.

Lilac in ideal conditionsLilac in ideal conditions

Well, that's actually all the wisdom. Of course, in the first season after planting, regardless of when and how it was planted, it is advisable to take care of lilacs. Water when dry, loosen, spray with stimulants if withers away. Then, when she gains strength, leaving is practically not required. Apart from trimming. But that's a completely different story.