There is a reason lilacs are so popular and have been enjoyed for generations! In fact, you probably have memories of these iconic plants as a youngster, even if you didn’t know what they were at the time. With proper care, lilacs can last for decades in your garden.
Treasured for their intense fragrance and beautiful blooms, lilacs can range in color from pink to purple to white, and come in a large variety of sizes. They are a good source of shade or privacy when planted as a hedge, or a nice focal point when planted as a specimen in the landscape. Take advantage of their scent by planting them near outdoor entertainment areas so their fragrance can be fully enjoyed. The cut flowers also hold up very well, and their fragrance can easily fill a house.
Consider pairing your lilac with smaller shrubs that bloom during other times of the growing season for continuous color and fragrance. Look for companions with the same growing requirements and in complimentary colors like white, pink, purple and gold. Flowering dogwoods, magnolias and mock orange work well. Taller varieties of lilacs tend to look a little leggy at the bottom, so planting perennials around their base can be a nice compliment. Daylily and peony work well on the sunny side, and hosta and lady’s mantle are good choices for the heavily shaded areas under the lilac’s lower branches.
Lilacs provide a great place for birds and butterflies too, which is also beneficial to you because birds act as a natural pest control as they eat other insects, and butterflies help to pollinate other garden plants. Since lilacs are generally low-maintenance shrubs, it’s a win-win for everyone!