How to Create a Border with Lilac Bushes

Lead Image
  • 2-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-100
What You'll Need
Lilac plant
Nutrient filled garden soil

One of the most popular, attractive and fragrant types of shrub, Lilac bushes make an excellent border plant. They flower from mid spring to midsummer, and as soon as blooming has commenced, they begin growing sprouts for the following year. Once they're established, they require little care. Here are some key hints to help get them started.

Step 1 - Planting

Spring or fall is the recommended time to plant your lilac bush. Choosing a location is important, as they thrive with at least six hours of direct sunlight, and prefer afternoon sun. Lilac bushes can grow for well over a century, so make sure whereever you decide to put them is a place you want them to stay. Somewhere with good drainage will be beneficial to your plant.

You’ll want the hole dug as deep as the root ball from the plant plus a few inches, the width should be the same as the depth. With equal parts garden soil and compost, fill up the hole.

To prevent weeds from taking your bush’s water, put no more than four inches of mulch around it. Unless you live where there is a steady rainfall, you'll have to keep your lilac bush thoroughly watered for the first month. Moist soil, not mud is what you should strive for.

lilac bushes in bloom bordering a walkway

Step 2 - Spacing

The hedge rows should be spaced five feet apart at the least, even if they are being used for privacy. This is to keep your plants from becoming too crowded. If you require less space between them, dwarf bushes may be right for you.

Step 3 - Care

In the early spring feeding your lilac bush a general purpose fertilizer will help it flourish. It may be necessary to fertilize it again when the spent flowers have fallen.

Directly after blooming, you should prune. While trimming, keep some strong stalks each year. Lilac bushes prefer a humus rich soil, it is best to mix compost into the soil when trying to find a suitable planting soil for them.

For lilac tree care, fertilizer is not necessary on a regular basis. Although to help promote bloom growth it is recommended to fertilize in the early spring as long as there is not an overabundance of nitrogen, this could cause deficient flowering.

Certain insects will sometimes come in and bother your lilac bushes, as long as you are able to treat these pests immediately there should not be any problems. Sometimes simply spraying the bush with soapy water will help in doing away with the insects. Although if the infestations become more severe the entire plant may need to be pruned to help the critters disperse. Pruning also helps prevent disease.