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Special Lilacs

These three cultivars are standout performers.

Special lilacs
‘Palibin’ (top) is a mound of amazing fragrance. Bloomerang® (bottom left) will bloom in spring and then again late into fall. ‘Prairie Petite’ has (bottom right) fragrant spikes on compact plants.
Lilacs are among the most popular shrubs in North Dakota. Nothing in the landscape can match their blooms for fragrance.

Lilacs thrive in our state. These tough shrubs are hardy and will grow in almost any well-drained soil. When you plant a lilac, it will be appreciated for generations.

At the recent NDSU Spring Fever Garden Forums, three cultivars of lilac were highlighted for their special qualities:

‘Palibin’ Korean lilac is a standout performer (top photo). It blooms as a young plant and will bloom profusely every spring. The blooms themselves are light purple and extremely fragrant. ‘Palibin’ resists mildew disease and is one of the easiest to grow lilacs. The shrub is compact, growing about 5 feet high and 6 feet wide. It is also available as a grafted, small tree.

If you love lilac flowers—and who doesn’t?—wouldn’t it be great if there was a lilac that bloomed all summer? Your dream has come true. Get to know the Bloomerang® lilacs (bottom left photo). They bloom in spring and then again from midsummer through fall. The original Bloomerang® grows 5 feet tall and has lilac-colored blooms. Dark Purple Bloomerang® grows a little larger and has larger blooms. Pink Perfume Bloomerang® grows a foot shorter and resists mildew.

‘Prairie Petite’ is perfect for a small yard (bottom right photo). The slow growing plant only reaches 4 feet tall. It bears spikes of rosy pink flowers—perfect for cutting.

Plant your lilac in a sunny spot that gets good air movement. Place it where you can enjoy its fragrance. Lilacs can be used as a hedge, in mass plantings or as a specimen plant. They can serve as background plants in perennial and cutting gardens. 

Written by , Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in NDSU Yard & Garden Report, June 9, 2017.

Source: West, Todd. 2017. Flowering shrubs for home landscapes. Presentation at NDSU Spring Fever Garden Forums, March 27. Presentation and handout. North Dakota State University. 

Photos courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc. and Net PS Plant Finder. 

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