Last Updated on March 31, 2021 by Ellen Christian
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Are you wondering about lilacs and landscaping? We have five or six lilac trees on our property. They’ve been here for years and I love the color and the scent of our lilacs each year. Before you plant a lilac tree or decide to make it a focal point of your landscaping, there are a few things that you need to consider.
Lilacs and Landscaping
There are a number of different types of lilacs that range in color from pale to dark purple and even white. In the northeast, their color is unmistakable and it is one of the first flowering trees to bloom. Since we have a lilac tree right outside our front door, I can enjoy the scent for the entire time our lilacs are in bloom.
When choosing your lilac, you want to keep in mind what zone you’re in. There are lilac varieties that are suitable for zone 3 through zone 9. The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) typically hardy to zone 3 and is the variety that we have the most of. There are dwarf varieties and a wider range of colors like yellow that may not be as hardy. Please do your research carefully to ensure the variety you plant will be with you for years to come.
Landscaping around lilac bushes
Remember that lilacs can grow to be up to 15 feet tall and 15 feet wide if not larger depending on the variety you have chosen. You don’t want to landscape too closely to the tree unless you plan to prune it regularly to keep it smaller. Otherwise, anything you plant too close to the lilac will soon be overtaken.
When landscaping around lilac bushes, please keep in mind the size of the lilac in the future. This means that you should be careful when planting your lilac near your house, shed, fences or other permanent structures.
Companion plants for lilacs
So, what should you plant around your lilac? There are several companion plants for lilacs to consider. Spring flower bulbs make a wonderful choice as companion plants. They will naturalize relatively quickly which will help keep the weeds down. And, they provide spring color before your lilac blooms. Options include lily of the valley, tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinth.
Landscaping with lilacs ideas
The Korean Lilac is a smaller variety of lilac tree that is ideal for small gardens. You can easily create a garden with a Korean lilac in the center surrounded by plants like Columbine, Phlox, and Meadow Rue. This combination should be relatively low maintenance and is perfect for attracting butterflies.
Try grouping several lilac varieties together to stagger bloom times. Our common lilac blooms much earlier than our white lilac. By staggering your bloom times, you’ll be able to extend the color in your lilac garden much longer.
Are lilacs a bush or a tree?
I’ve seen this question several times. The answer is that it depends. The definition of a tree is that it stands over 13 feet tall and has a single trunk. While there are varieties that grow over 13 feet tall, lilacs have many trunks unless you prune them otherwise. Technically, lilacs are a bush. Check out the video above for some handy tips on how to prune a lilac. I admit that I often simply let ours grow wild. Since we’re in the country, that works well for our yard.
Are lilacs poisonous?
As a pet mom, I worry about what plants and trees I add to our property. Many different growing things are poisonous to cats and dogs. But, luckily lilacs are not poisonous to animals. I’ve never eaten them myself. But, if your pet wants to nibble on them, no worries.
Lilacs and landscaping can work well together if you keep in mind the eventual size of your lilac tree. Don’t be afraid to be creative and add a sundial, garden bench or even a fountain if you have the room.
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.