Lilac Care & Maintenance
Click one of the section headings below to read more about Lilac care & maintenance.
Forever & Ever Lilac Planting Instructions
- Dig hole three times the width of the container. Depth of hole should be equal to height of soil in the pot.
- Prepare backfill soil by mixing in peat for sandy soil or compost for clay soil.
- Remove plant from pot.
- If the roots are encircling the bottom of the pot, disturb them by cutting them in several places so they will branch out instead of continuing to go in circles.
- Place plant in hole with top of rootball even with ground level.
- Fill hole with prepared soil.
- Tap soil firmly to eliminate air pockets.
- Form a 2" high soil berm around planting hole to retain water.
- Gently soak with water until saturated.
- Add 1-2" layer of mulch.
- Continue to water frequently at the root ball until plant becomes established. This may take most of the growing season for lilacs as they need an extensive root system to maintain healthy, lush foliage. Wilting leaves are a sign of insufficient water. If observed only in late afternoon, it is transplant shock. If leaves start the day in a morning wilted state, it is time to apply generous water.
- Once established, check soil weekly or more frequently for moisture. Do not allow to dry out.
- Water well when needed.
Forever & Ever Lilac Pruning Instructions
Little pruning is required other than removing spent flowers or to trim away dead stems before spring growth begins. Forever & Ever® lilacs are repeat bloomers and bloom on old and new wood.
Forever & Ever Lilac Fertilizing Instructions
In early spring or late winter apply a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, following package directions. Encourage continued season long flowering, apply additional fertilizer at 6-8 week intervals. To prepare the lilac for winter, be sure and stop feeding 6 weeks before anticipated first hard frost. This will allow all new growth to slow and “harden off” and better resist the beginning of winter weather.
Common Lilac Diseases
- Powdery Mildew
- Signs - The earliest sign of powdery mildew is the presence of small circular white patches with feathery edges randomly scattered across the lower surfaces of one or more leaves. Yellow or purple blotches may also appear, particularly on the upper leaf surface.
- Damage - Under ideal conditions, patches will rapidly increase in size until the surfaces of the leaves and tender shoots are covered with the white, cottony fungal growth. The foliage of heavily diseased hydrangea is often stunted and off-color. The beauty and size of the flowers of powdery mildew-damaged hydrangeas will also be greatly reduced, as young stems and flower stalks are infected and killed off.
- Ideal Conditions - Usually worse in shady sites and when the relative humidity approaches 95 percent, powdery mildew often affects plants that are under stress. The warm days, cool nights, and light rainfall of the spring and fall favor disease outbreaks. Typically, frequent showers will suppress the development of powdery mildew.
- Prevention and treatment - Regular feeding, mulching and watering will reduce the likelihood of mildew attacks. Good air circulation around the plant is also helpful. Ask your local garden center for a fungicide for powdery mildew on lilacs.
- Cercospora Leaf Spot
- Signs - Scattered, small circular brown or purple spots first appear on leaves near the base of the plant. The centers of these spots eventually turn tan to light gray in color and are surrounded by a brown or purple halo. The spots are usually about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter. This combination of a pale center and dark margin is usually called a frogeye leaf-spot pattern. The spotting of the leaves, which usually starts in midsummer, is most noticeable by early fall.
- Damage - Heavy spotting of the leaves and premature leaf shed may reduce plant vigor and flower bud set.
- Ideal Conditions - Frequent late summer rain showers will not only greatly increase the rate of disease spread, but also intensify the level of leaf spotting and defoliation. Extended periods of drought will usually suppress disease development and spread.
- Prevention and Treatment - Remove dead diseased leaves, as fallen diseased leaves are the primary source of spores. Water at root ball rather than on leaves, and avoid watering late in the day. Ask your local garden center for a fungicide for leaf spot on lilacs.
- Bacterial blight
- Bacterial blight of lilac is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae. The disease is also commonly referred to as Shoot Blight and Blossom Blight. The pathogen is capable of causing damage to all types of lilacs including Japanese, Chinese, Persian and common varieties. The disease is usually associated with plants that have been stressed by drought conditions, improper fertilization, and/or have been wounded.
- Symptoms and Signs - Infections result in the appearance of brown spots on the leaves and stems on the plants. The spots may enlarge and cause malformations of the leaf tissue. Leaves may die and drop from the stems. The symptoms may move from the leaves to the stems as the disease progresses, turning the tissue black and causing it to wilt. The stems infection causes girdling of the tissue resulting in the death of shoots and blossoms.
- Cultural Management - Take the proper actions required to keep the plant as healthy as possible. Practice proper fertilization and water management. Stresses caused by the lack of nutrients and/or water can predispose the plants to an infection. Avoid wetting the foliage and overhead irrigation to minimize splashing of the bacterium on to the host plants. Prune plants to allow for increased air circulation through the canopy. Also proper spacing of plants is recommended.
Top Ten Reasons To Love Forever & Ever Lilacs
Everyone loves lilacs. Not everyone can grow them, especially if "winters" barely freeze standing water! With our Forever & Ever® Lilacs we take all those limitations away.
Count the ways...
10 A lilac for all seasons in all places.
Finally a repeat flowering lilac that will strut its stuff in spring, summer and again in fall. Just remove the spent flower clusters as they decline and this “deadheading” will encourage more blooming beauty.
9 She loves me…she loves me not….takes way too long
That old rhyme will take a very very long time to play through if you should use the blooms of this lilac to pace the picking. Forever & Ever Lilac will live up to its name! Each flower cluster is made up of hundreds of tiny flowers called florets. Picking the petals off these will take until your next birthday!
8 Outside In
No matter where you plant Forever & Ever® Lilacs you will be able to appreciate the heady fragrance by just standing down wind. Should the breezes blow the other way you can take the fragrance with you by cut flower arrangements. The ultimate portable potpourri!
7 Spot is a dog!
Most lilacs are prone to several kinds of leaf spot diseases. Our Forever & Ever® Lilac is selected for better disease resistance. This puts more sunshine to work to make more flowers. Which makes you more happy and lets you enjoy your dog.
6 In The Pink
The beauty of Forever & Ever® Lilac is focused in the flowers and the fragrance. The lavender-pink color will help to refresh your senses and keep you "in the pink".
5 Right sized for the right place
Even with great age, Forever & Ever Josee Lilac is never more than 4-6’ tall and wide. That is pretty compact and tidy for a lilac. This diminutive growth habit allows you to plant this selection in close to the patio or other small sized areas. The areas designed for people to actively enjoy the outdoors.
4 You can count on it!
Forever & Ever® Lilacs are reliable. Superbly mildew-resistant, this is one of the few Lilacs that can withstand the warm, moist nights of southern and Midwestern climates. Each growing season brings repeat blooms that punctuate your landscape with color AND fragrance!
3 Take a little off the top
Old fashion, normal lilacs get pretty big with age. Bloom clusters begin to get harder and harder to reach. Not with our Forever & Ever® Lilacs. Maximum height at 10+ years is 6’. That will keep the fragrant and oh-so-lovely flower clusters in easy reach for cutting and enjoying inside.
2 Made for the shade, "NOT"
While you can enjoy the cool and comfortable shade breezes, our Forever & Ever® is designed and selected to thrive in the nutrient factory of full sunshine. If your summers linger above 95°F, then your lilacs will also do better with afternoon shade.
And the No. 1 reason to love Forever & Ever® Lilac?
1 All of the above!