Every year when I enjoy the abundant bloom and fragrance of my Miss Kim lilac I count myself lucky for my tendency to procrastinate. I put off pulling what looked like a dead shrub for an entire summer and fall, only to be surprised with blooming branches the following spring.

Lilacs are great plants for cold climates and alkaline soils, but they don’t like shade or having their feet wet.

A lilac bush flowers on old wood, so if you must prune it, keep in mind that you may lose bloom for up to three years.
It seems that they also bloom less if they are fertilized excessively. I have to admit the thought of feeding trees and shrubs never occurred to me. Maybe I should reevaluate that, at least for the little apple tree, which skipped blooming this year.

I don’t have much to say about lilacs, they seem to be the ultimate ‘plant it and forget it’ shrub, and, as long as they have enough sunshine, they’ll take care of themselves.

I do have to add one thing: they are prone to powdery mildew. It doesn’t affect the plant, but it looks bad, especially in August. I’ve been trying to get rid of this pest for years, but every summer it comes back, stubbornly, despite my efforts. It seems that the spores overwinter in the ground and pick up where they left off the following year.

As with all things, persistence is key, and I’m treating again this year, if need be. Eventually one side will have to give in, and I sure hope it’s the mildew.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.