I’m a huge fan of all things purple. So naturally, I’m a big fan of all the lilac varieties. There are plenty of reasons to like lilacs, but I love the pretty flowers for their color and their versatility. You can use them as a border in your garden, as a centerpiece in an elegant table setting or as a focal point for your home decor. With the options for flower arrangements and the versatility available, you can make any space look like it has been transported to with fanciful, flowery decor.
The Lilac (genus Syringa) is a Eurasian shrub from the olive family that has a fragrant pink, violet, or white blossom. It’s popularly used as a garden ornament. It has about 25 species of northern spring-flowering shrubs. It’s native to Eastern Europe and Temperate Asia, where several species are widely cultivated.
Lilac plants are broadleaved shrubs with deep-green leaves arranged oppositely along their stems and leathery capsule fruit. They shed leave their leaves annually. Almost all the Lilac species are hand and easy to grow; they require little maintenance.
However, you have to prune them to keep a good look and give them a manageable size. With most Lilacs spreading through suckering, they become a dark shrub in no time.
How To Care For Lilac Species
Lilac varieties thrive well in fertile, well-drained, humus-rich, and alkaline soil. It requires at least 6-hours to have strong bloom and flower properly. The planting area needs to be properly drained – Lilac plants don’t like wet ground. You can plant in fall or spring, with the latter being the most preferred.
When planting, you can buy a sucker or an offshoot, plant it, backfill with soil, water, and wait. The plant has to be placed 2-3 inches deeper than it was in the nursery and filled with fertile, humus-rich topsoil. After 4-5 years, you can enjoy seeing your beautiful, fragrant blossoms beautify your backyard.
They require the application of a compost layer under the plant and mulch for retaining the moisture and controlling weeds. They also require summer watering if the rainfall is less than an inch per week. No over-fertilizing – doing can make the Lilacs not bloom. Give them 10:10:10 late winter, and no more.
After the Lilac has bloomed fully, you can spread some well-rotted manure and lime around its base. You can trim the bush to give it a shape and remove the extra suckers. And with Lilacs blooming on old wood, it’d be best to prune them in the spring after blooming. Wait until the Lilac flower cluster starts getting smaller to prune.
After this, what remains is the removal of deadwood each year after blooming. Reach down to the ground and prune out all the old canes. You can also remove those small suckers and cut the weak branches for them to get stronger shoots. Avoid severe pruning – it can lead to loss of blooms in few years.
Slugs and snails are the most common pest that attacks Lilac varieties. Diseases common in the Lilac family are powdery white mildew that appears after the summer heat and humidity. It does no harm – you can choose to ignore it.
The 19 Most Gorgeous Varieties Of Lilac
The list of Lilac varieties is long – but here is a shorter list that gives you the most common and widely planted Lilac plants in the world.
1. Sensation Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris’ Sensation’)
Sensation Lilac is an eye-catching tree guaranteed to grab anyone’s attention. It has purple flowers trimmed in white. The Syringa vulgaris Lilac grows up to 10 feet tall, and it can get up 12 feet wide.
They can, at times, turn solid-white, something that looks as lovely as their original purple color. The plant grows in clusters with one purple blossom. It opens in mid-spring.
2. Tinkerbelle Lilac (Syringa Bailbelle)
— anselmoS (@anselmonadir) April 12, 2015
The Tinkerbelle Lilac is a small tree perfect for small gardens. It grows roughly 8-feet tall and 5-feet wide. It develops quite well in zones 3-7. Butterflies love it because of its spicy scent.
Tinkerbelle Lilacs bloom well in late spring. They produce dark red-wine flowers, which makes them favorites to many homeowners. You can grow it both as a tree and shrub. It’s a perfect way to add color to your garden.
3. Snowdance Japanese Lilac (Syringa Reticulata ‘Bailnce’)
The Snowdance Japanese Lilac is one of the many varieties that grow quite enormous, around 18-feet tall and 20-feet wide. It has broad dark-green leaves that allow the tree to give excellent shade and creamy-white flowers that grabs everyone’s attention.
Snowdance Japanese Lilac grows well in zones 3-7. It’s shaped like a vase, and with it being a hybrid, it’s pest and disease resistant. Its shade and head-turner flowers make it a beautiful addition to any landscape.
4. Charles Joly Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris’ Charles Joly’)
The Charles Joly Lilac is a French variety, a hybrid producing deep-purple flowers and with magenta shade inside. That makes it a highly eye-catching cultivar that beautifies any garden. It first existed in the late 1800s, and today, it’s one of the most popular cultivars in French and French Lilac grown globally.
It grows 12-feet tall and 10-feet wide in zones 3-7. If you need a perfect screen for your backyard, Charles Joly Lilac is the plant.
5. Golden Eclipse Lilac (Syringa Reticulata)
Golden Eclipse Lilac is a Japanese variety that has ivory-white blossoms and dark-green variegated leaves. The combination makes the Lilac quite attractive to the eye. The leaves start with a dark green center that complements the ivory-white flowers.
Its leaves, though, get bright-gold edges when it starts to age. It grows perfectly in zone 4-7. The tallest Golden Eclipse Lilac can reach up to 24 feet and 14-feet wide.
6. Asessippi Lilac (Syringa Hyacinthiflora)
This time of year, the lilacs are blooming. We are blessed to not have much, if any, frost damage on them this year. Here is Congo, deep maroon & Asessippi on the right. Enjoy a frost free lilac season of fragrance & bloom! pic.twitter.com/vYLohHLyHB
— Scarff's Landscape (@ScarffLandscape) May 9, 2018
The Asessippi Lilac was developed in Canada in the early 1930s. It’s best suited to grow in zones 2 to 7. It starts to bloom in the spring. It has a wonderful lavender scent that everyone notices. It can grow up to 12-feet tall and wide.
It has perfect shade attributes that make it an excellent background shrub. Its flowers grow profusely –something most homeowners seek from beautifying shrubs.
7. Declaration Lilac (Syringa Declaration)
:: Perfectly Purple :: This Declaration Purple Lilac is now available at our nursery in a 5 gallon variety for $43.99! pic.twitter.com/aHdNub0FjZ
— The Greenery (@Greenerynsy) March 30, 2020
The Declaration Lilac tree has attractive reddish-purple flowers and a strong fragrance. Its flowers open sooner than all the other varieties. It makes an excellent flower to use in a vase and set it on your coffee table.
It grows 7-feet high and wide in zones 4 to 7. You can use it as a hedge or specimen shrub. It grows in clusters to create an eye-catching purple beauty.
8. Agincourt Beauty Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris Agincourt)
Gotta love the Agincourt Beauty lilac developed right here in Scarborough by Mrs. T.A. Paterson…also known as the Lilac Lady of Agincourt! https://t.co/QMp8dHEWR8
— Mere (@msmere1) May 28, 2017
The Agincourt Beauty Lilac features blooms with sizeable florets that you can cut and use in a vase – it’s perfect for filling a home with a sweet springtime smell. It blooms in late April or early May. It’s the most common Lilac variety that has the largest individual florets and vibrant violet flowers.
It thrives excellently in zones 3-7, and it can reach up to 10-12 feet tall. It spreads around 8-10 feet wide. If you need something that gives your home a new look and leaves it with a sweet springtime smell, the Agincourt Beauty Lilac is the perfect variety for you.
9. Common Purple Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris’ Common Purple)
This is one of the common lilacs globally, and thousands of cultivators have developed it. It came from Europe to the United States in the 1700s and can adapt to different soil types.
It has lavender flowers in color, and they give a sweet and classic scent. This flower will make your background look great and can grow up to a width of 8 and 10 feet high.
10. Superba Lilac (Syringa Pubescens)
The Superba lilac has pink flowers and belongs to an S. pubescens species. They are short but have wider shrubs than other types. It can grow to a width of 14 feet and goes to a height of 7 feet. Some of its advantages are rosy-pink flowers, lush, petite leaves, and re-bloom in summer and fall.
In addition, it has resistance to powdery mildew and offers full-season appeal. It is natively from Korea and China and does well in total sun exposure.
11. Josee Lilac (Syringa ‘Josee’)
Sale on 1gal Josee Pink Lilac Bush
$5.99 each while supplies last! pic.twitter.com/kztfBDbIPo
— Benchs Greenhouse (@BenchsElmore) April 29, 2013
This is a Josee Lilac, a dwarf variety from Korea and was introduced in 1954 by the University of New Hemisphere. If you live in a slightly warm area, then this Lilac is perfect for you. It grows to a width and height of 4-5 feet and blooms flowers in light purple color.
The bloom is large and smells very sweet, and the flowers come out in spring. The dark-green foliage maintains its attractiveness, and in the fall, it becomes a stunning claret.
12. Royalty Lilac (Syringa Josiflexa)
If you’re looking for a lavender-colored option, then the Royalty lilac is the one for you. It blooms in late spring and early summer. Its blossoms may be light, but the buds are dark, making the pinnacles have a layered look.
Unlike other varieties, this type requires some chills and grows up to ten feet tall. In width, it can spread up to eight feet.
13. Yankee Doodle Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris’ Yankee Doodle’)
— Best Home Guide (@ThatBestHome) September 19, 2019
This is a classic American style with deep-purple beauty. It is counted among the best creations by Father John Fiala, who cultivated it first. It grows up to 10 feet in height and six feet in width.
It is considered highly aromatic because of its sweet solid smell. It blooms for four weeks in late spring and does well in zone 2-8.
14. Regent Lilac (Hardenbergia Violacea)
The Regent Lilac was developed in Princeton, New Jersey. It boasts some beautiful white flowers growing in clusters that bloom in the summer. And with their growth being quite fast, they produce bountiful flowers that bring a new look to a garden.
And even though its origin is New Jersey, it’s famously known as a Japanese variety perfect for the cities looking to plant attractive flowers on public streets. It grows 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
15. Meyer Lilac (Syringa Meyer)
The Meyer Lilac is more of a shrub than a tree. The variety is from Northern China and Japan. It grows roughly 8-feet tall and 10-feet wide. The plant flowers are either light-purple or pale-pink, which bloom in late spring and produce a strong, pleasant aroma. It’s a perfect Lilac for landscaping since it can bloom all season profusely.
16. Late Lilac (Syringa Villosa)
If you’re looking for dense shrub featuring rounded habit, ascending, or erect with some stiff branches, then Late Lilac is your variety. It’s a drought-tolerant variety that is also cold tolerant too. However, its early flower buds can get affected by a late frost.
Even though it’s not intensely fragrant like other Lilac varieties, it does produce a sweet welcoming fragrance that can welcome everyone to your home. It creates new shoots from a base on its old stems – it doesn’t need pruning except when there is light shaping needed.
17. Lilac Sunday (Syringa Chinensis)
The Lilac Sunday or Chinese Lilac is a deciduous, floriferous shrub that has showy panicles with fragrant-filled purple flowers. It blooms in late spring, and its abundant blossoms are produced at the lateral buds and branch tips, unlike common styles with branch tips only.
It gives a lush floral display that takes away anyone’s attention. And with the fresh green and heart-shaped leaves, it remains attractive all summer. It’s a perfectly attractive fountain that offers an ideal specimen shrub.
18. Persian Lilac (Syringa Persica)
Most Lilacs are showy, but the Persian Lilac comes is not – it’s compact and branched deciduous shrub with panicles. It has richly fragrant pale flowers that bloom in late spring. It has dark green-blue leaves that remain attractive all summer.
19. China Gold Lilac (Syringa Pekinensis ‘Zhang Zhiming’)
Pascal tu es un lilas mais pas n'importe lequel, un Syringa reticulata pekinensis 'Beijing gold'. Il change carrément du lilas commun avec sa floraison vaporeuse et son port pyramidal. A l'automne il devient caramel c'est juste sublime. Malheureusement peu de gens connaisse. pic.twitter.com/aoNMfof28b
— φ M6SSI 644 ? ?? ?? (@Elblaugrana10) September 30, 2020
Ivory-colored flowers and pale yellow leaves that become greenish-yellow later in the season are the unique characteristics of China Gold Lilac. Its branches have a reddish color that creates a combination no eye can resist. It originated in the mid-1950s and has gained popularity over the years. Today, it’s a known variety that uniquely identifies a garden from far with its beauty.
Hi, my name’s Elena Coolidge. I’m a DIY enthusiast who loves building fun woodworking plans. These DIY plans are fun hobby projects for enthusiasts or even more advanced builders that want to build things like bunk beds, end tables or even a duck box!