Lilac blossoms are a dream. Whether as a bouquet or left on the bush or tree, they convince with their beauty, many also with their scent. For a time, lilac was considered outdated and conservative. New varieties have brought the garden lavender back to life, today you can see more freshly planted noble lilacs in the gardens. Although the trees are really only eye-catching for the few weeks in the flowering period and the rest of the year rather inconspicuous, these 3 to 4 weeks are spectacular. During the summer, if the trees are properly cut, they at least offer privacy protection if they are planted along the edge of the property. You can find out what there is to know about noble lilac in the following text.


  • Olive family
  • 20 to 25 species, mostly from Asia or Southeast Europe
  • Common lilac – Syringa vulgaris
  • Deciduous shrubs or small trees
  • 4 to sometimes 7 m high
  • Grows quite quickly, up to 30 cm per year
  • Showy inflorescences with many flowers
  • Flowering time May / June
  • Flowers in many colors, from white to yellow and pink to purple and purple-red.
  • Also two-tone flowers
  • Mostly strong fragrance
  • Forms capsule fruits
  • Winged seeds


There are many different types of noble lilac. When choosing, you can take advantage of your personal taste. If you want to plant several lilacs, you should choose the colors so that they go together, not all of them go with all of them.

Simple flowers

  • ‘Mme Florent Stepman’ – white flowers in long, slender panicles
  • ‘Marie Legraye’ – white flowers, traditional variety for cut lilacs
  • ‘Primrose’ – yellowish buds and creamy yellow flowers, only yellow variety
  • ‘Lucie Balten’ – pastel pink flowers, distinctly darker buds, broad, conical panicles
  • ‘Vesper’ – purple-violet flower, very color stable
  • ‘Sarah Sands’ – dark red flowers, late blooming
  • ‘In memory of Ludwig Späth’ – dark purple flowers in large panicles
  • ‘Krasnaja Moskva’ – purple flowers, color and sun stable
  • ‘President Lincoln’ – light blue flowers

Semi-double to double varieties

  • ‘Mme Lemoine’ – beautiful white flowers, one of the oldest varieties
  • ‘Sovetskaya Artika’ – snow-white double-filled flowers
  • ‘Beauty of Moscow’ – white flowers but pink buds, one of the most beautiful and my favorite variety
  • ‘Katharine Havemeyer’ – large pink-purple single flowers, strong fragrance
  • ‘Carpe Diem®’ – purple colored buds, double double blue flowers, great fragrance
  • ‘Michel Buchner’ – purple flowers in many shades of purple, lush bloom, strong fragrance
  • ‘Charles Joly’ – dark purple flowers in dense panicles
  • ‘Paul Thirion’ – magenta flowers, strongly scented

Two-tone lilacs

  • ‘Sensation’ – simple purple flowers with a white border
  • ‘Lila Wonder®’ – simple light purple flowers with a white border

The care of noble lilacs

Lilacs not only look good, they also do not require a lot of care, are robust and are usually spared from disease. You have a lot of fun with them, you can simply multiply them and raise the plants nicely by pruning them so that they are also suitable as privacy screens. Noble lilac does not like to stand alone, he feels at home among his own kind, but also in company with other trees, as long as they do not challenge him for the sun. Noble lilac bushes are suitable for beds and lawns, but also in flowering bush hedges and even for keeping in pots . Noble lilac trunks are great as solitaires in the lawn or in rows in borders, always with suitable underplanting. They can also be planted in pots.


Edelflieder is very flexible in terms of its location. He likes the sun and should get a lot out of it. If the place is too shady, the flowers are rather sparse.

  • Sunny to shady
  • Can handle heat too
  • Urban climate friendly
  • If you want to enjoy the scent near a seat, you should plant the noble lilac in a sheltered place .

Plant substrate

Noble lilac is also quite frugal with the soil. It is important that it is permeable and not too wet. It is better to have a moderately dry to fresh substrate that may also be somewhat rich in nutrients. Lilac also loves calcareous soils.

  • Moderately dry to fresh soil
  • Gladly rich in nutrients
  • Sandy, humic is cheap
  • Permeable, summer-dry clay soil is also accepted
  • Permanently wet floors are unsuitable
  • pH value slightly acidic to alkaline
  • Mulch the soil , so it holds the moisture better


Purchased lilacs are often grafted specimens. It is important here that the refining point is underground. Put container plants only as deep into the earth as they were previously in the pot. Bare-root lilacs are the cheapest option. Especially if you want to plant a hedge, you should use it, so you can save a lot.

Tip – Meristem-propagated, real-root noble lilacs tend to develop many runners. If you cut these off, more and more of these offshoots appear at the interfaces. Sometimes there is a downright lilac invasion. If you want to save as much as possible, you have to buy hand-finished noble lilacs. In addition, the refinement point must be above the surface of the earth so that no shoots of the rootstock can sprout from there.

This is how it works plants …

  • Container goods can be planted all year round, except when there is frost.
  • Bare-rooted lilacs are best planted in October . Planting is possible from autumn to the end of April .
  • Cut off the damaged roots of bare-rooted lilacs, otherwise leave the roots to stand in full length
  • Cutting back the noble lilac shoots should also be limited to damaged shoots
  • Forms strong roots, therefore make sure there is sufficient distance from house walls and the like
  • Distance when planting hedges – about 1 m
  • Plant hole about twice as big as plant ball
  • Loosen the sole with the digging fork
  • Mix the soil with good compost
  • Put a handful of horn shavings into the planting hole
  • A stake is recommended as a support, especially in windy locations
  • Knock the stake into the ground before planting the lilac
  • Post always against the main wind direction (west)
  • Adjust wood and align vertically
  • The grafting point (bulb-like thickening on the root neck) must be above the ground, about 5 cm
  • If it is underground, the base usually drives out at the refinement point. The rootstock usually overgrows the noble lilacs quickly.
  • Fill in the soil, shake it and at the end kick it down
  • Casting edge
  • Water abundantly after planting
  • Make sure you have enough water for the next few weeks, or even better months
  • Keep the tree grate free

Watering and fertilizing

The noble lilac needs regular water, especially until it grows . Later on, the trees cope better with dryness than with wetness. However, regular watering should be used, especially in spring, otherwise the flowers will not develop so splendidly.

  • Water at the latest when the leaves are drooping
  • It is better to drink water regularly, about once a week and then in abundance
  • The plants usually do not mind drought, especially in summer
  • Drought is unfavorable in spring
  • Fertilization is based on phosphorus , which is important for flower formation
  • Fertilize in early spring
  • Compost can also be mixed in, which is good for the soil
  • By no means too much nitrogen, because this ensures length growth, but not flowers
  • Mulch the soil

Tip – Like many other woody plants, noble lilacs benefit from potash fertilization in late summer, around the beginning of September. Patent potash is well suited. The fertilization helps that the shoots mature by winter and are thus better protected from frost. The plant usually survives the cold season better than unfertilized.

To cut

Noble lilac does not have to be cut , but it can. It is important to cut immediately after flowering, because the new flower stems develop during flowering. If you cut off branches for the vase, this shoot can also be cut back. If it is cut too late, the new shoots will be removed and flowering in the next year will be little or no.

  • Cut only in an emergency
  • It is beneficial to cut off the withered inflorescences after flowering so that the lilac does not put its strength into the ripening of the seeds
  • Rejuvenation pruning can all 3 to 4 years are carried out
  • The oldest thick shoots on cm 30 to 40-reset n
  • Larger pruning measures only in the leaf-free time, so best in winter, even if the flowering fails as a result


Noble lilac is usually sufficiently hardy and does not require any protective measures.


Noble lilac can be propagated by grafting or cuttings, but both are not so easy. Propagation through root runners or subsidence is much easier.

Shoots / root runners

  • Shoots that sprout from the ground around the noble lilac ensure a dense growth and a compact plant
  • You can also dig up the saplings. Slightly older specimens have usually formed enough roots so that they can be replanted elsewhere.
  • Alternatively, the saplings can also take root in a glass of water.
  • Do not tear runners out of the earth
  • At best, detach at the end of summer


  • Cut after flowering in June
  • Let root in a glass of water
  • Water level rather low
  • Change the water regularly
  • Rooting can take a few weeks


  • Bend one of the lower shoots down to the earth and tie it
  • Cover something with soil
  • Roots form there in weeks and months
  • Refining through budding
  • In summer

Diseases and pests

Lilac is a very robust wood and rarely gets sick. Even with pests, he doesn’t have to worry much. Of course, an illness can always occur. Fungal, bacterial and viral diseases can occur but are not common.

  • Lilac disease (Pseudomonas syringae) – bacterial disease, recognizable by the brown-striped, dark bark, brown-black withered shoots. These dry off, rot or kink. Leaves have wet-looking spots. There are no pesticides. You can cut out the affected shoots.
  • Virus diseases – can be recognized by light spots, lines, rings on the leaves, deformations, growth disorders , cannot be fought, eliminate lilacs, best of all burn them
  • Lilac miner moth – recognizable by olive-gray spots on leaves and destroyed leaf tissue, dung crumbs, yellowish larva, parts of the leaves turn brown and die. Control usually not necessary.
  • Lilac weevil – recognizable by the leaf edges that have been eaten off, it is best to collect them. If they multiply strongly, use nematodes.
  • Fungal diseases – different types, different spots on the leaves, cut out affected areas

Frequently asked questions

What can you do if the lilac is not in bloom?

It can sometimes take two or three years for newly planted lilacs to bloom, depending on how young the wood is. But then something should happen. From experience I can say that once it has started, the flowering becomes stronger and more splendid every year. If the noble lilac does not bloom, it can have different causes.

  • Pruning – no matter when you cut, you remove the flower systems for the coming year, as they are always at the tips of the shoots, where the cut is made.
  • Young lilac in bloom
  • Late frost – early-flowering varieties sometimes suffer from late frosts. The buds freeze to death.
  • Over-fertilization or incorrect fertilization – too much nitrogen causes the lilac to form long shoots and abundant leaves. Phosphorus is required for flowering.
  • Incorrect cultivation conditions – the lack of sun or too little water in spring can cause the flower to fail

How much can a noble lilac be pruned?

Noble lilac can be cut back very strongly, right into the old wood. As a rule, the trees sprout reliably again. It may take a few years for the next bloom, but that’s clear. It is also possible that the shrub or tree will have more runners.

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