Lilacs (Syringa) are small trees or large shrubs known for their superb scented flowers.

How to choose Lilac

Lilacs (Syringa) are small trees or large shrubs, part of the olive family. They are best known for their stunning spring blossom.  While many varieties - as the common name suggests - have lilac-coloured blossom, there are also varieties with mauve, purple, white or yellow blossom.

Flowering usually occurs in May and lasts several weeks, into early June.

The flowers of most lilacs are also strongly scented. Some are also "double" flowers, featuring a larger number of petals which give a more dense impact.

All lilacs like to be in full sun if possible, although they will tolerate some shade.

Lilacs will grow in most good soils, but are a particularly good choice if you are on chalk or slightly alkaline soil. Most lilacs will reach a height of about 3m after 10 years or so, with a typical spread of about 2m.

Lilacs quickly become multi-stemmed shrubs as a result of suckering from the base of the original stem.  We graft our lilacs on to rootstocks of the lilac species Syringa tomentella which is less prone to suckering, but if you prefer to maintain a single stem you should periodically check for and remove suckers as they arise.

Lilacs generally need little or no pruning. The best time to prune or tidy up is just after the flowers have finished.

All lilacs are cold-hardy and are unlikely to need winter protection in UK conditions.