Japanese Lilac



Facts about Growing Japanese Lilac


People who are thinking about adding shrubbery to their yard have a good option with Japanese lilac. Syringa reticulate or Japanese lilac is a large plant that starts out as looking like a bush. But quickly grows and when it is matures it resembles a small tree. The branches spread out and they display big flowery bud clusters of lilac. The flower clusters are white and pink and very attractive.  The background foliage is a dark green to golden color depending on the time of year. But there is one more benefit to having Japanese lilac. The fragrance is pleasing and it can be noticed immediately when you walk by the plant. After the plant fully matures it can be admired by everyone who lives around you.


Japanese Lilac trees are different then lilac bushes. They grow higher and straighter then regular lilac varieties and have an actual tree trunk. Although they are easy to take care of, certain rules have to be followed for the plant to thrive.


When planting a Japanese lilac it must be placed in an area that receives full sunlight through out the day. If you are planting more than one tree, each individual plant must be spaced 3 to 4 feet apart from each other. This gives the trees ample room to grow and spread out. You should keep the trees watered. They do best in a climate that receives a lot of rainfall but average rainfall is also alright if you plan on keeping the lilac watered with a sprinkler. Although they need plenty of water, make sure that the water drains away from the plant and does not puddle. When puddles form around any root system it can become damaged.


If you think your Japanese lilac needs extra help you can purchase a fertilizer. Any brand name soil enhancer is alright to use but make sure it has phosphorous in the ingredients. To be sure, you can get a soil tester at any garden supply store. This test will immediately let you know if your soil is deficient in any nutrient. You can then get a fertilizer that is best for your type soil.


Depending on the placement of the tree, it may have to be staked while it is growing. If the area has windy conditions most of the time it can cause the tree to grow in crooked or towards the ground. To insure that this does not happen, you can use a tall stake and place it at the base of the plant. You can use old cut up rags to tie the tree to the stake. Remember not to make the ties too tight. You want them only to act as a guide until the tree becomes stronger.


When the tree starts to mature you have to prune it. When you remove the top stems from the top of any plant it forces the plant to spread out instead of growing in a straight up direction. This really helps when it comes to maintaining a healthy plant. When the plant fully matures scattered branches may have to also be removed. The full sunlight the plant craves can’t get to the center of the plant, so it suffers. Removing a few branches close to the stem helps with this problem. The flowery branches and foliage can be pruned at any time in whatever shape you prefer. If the lilac tree becomes too big and you want to scale the plant back, remember that you can only remove one third of the plant. There is not a way to restore the plant to its original size all at once. If you want the plant to be smaller you will have to do it in steps.