have blooms that appear in clusters. The small, often fragrant
flowers range in color from white to pink and all shades of
purple. There are even some lilacs that have yellow blooms.
Lilacs, known by the scientific name syringa, are very long-lived
and capable of surviving most conditions. The common lilacs
have an upright, irregular growth habit that works well in
the back of a border.
from the bright blooms in spring, most lilacs do not have
any other seasonal interest. Lilacs prefer full sun in neutral,
rich soil that is high in organic matter. They typically require
a location with good air circulation, to help reduce problems
with powdery mildew, one of the biggest problems of lilacs.
Some cultivars of lilacs produce good flowers only every other
year. Spent blossoms of lilacs should be removed immediately,
to encourage an increased output of flowering the following
year. Old plants should be renewed by being cut back almost
to the ground.