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Will Ship Spring 2024

Plant Type: Dormant, bare-root

Zones:  3-7

Soil Type:  Clay, Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun, Partial Sun

Mature Height & Width:  8-15' Height and 8-15' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Average

Plant Characteristics

Common Lilac

Syringa vulgaris

The Common Lilac is known for its stunning show of purple flowers in spring and unforgettable fragrance which carries a long distance. This perennial favorite is hardy and naturally spreading but not invasive. Butterflies and beneficial bees are attracted to the nectar of the lilac flowers. This bush blooms on old wood so pruning right after the bush blossoms will set the stage for the best flowering next season. Thin out old stems, in the middle at the base, to boost the plants health.

The Common Lilac is also known as the French Lilac.

If you plan to prune the Common Lilac, it should be pruned after its flowers fade to ensure best blooming next season. To keep the bush more dense, prune one half of the new growth off each season. Alternatively, you can leave this shrub grow naturally and the growth habit will be a little less dense. This shrub displays excellent drought resistance once it is established. While this bush will grow in part shade, full sun will yield the best growth and flower density.

Common uses for the Common Lilac include:

  • Privacy screen or hedge
  • Fragrant, showy flowers give off a classic scent loved by everyone
  • Makes a good choice for lower stories of a windbreak
  • Ornamental and specimen plant


The Common Lilac is used by many types of songbirds for cover.  Nectar from the flowers attract beneficial bees and butterflies to your landscape.

Product Questions

Can I plant lilac seedlings in Ohio in Oct?
Question by: Robert Hunt on Oct 3, 2020, 8:58 AM
Hello I do not have Lilac seedlings available in the fall, but if you have a potted plant, you can plant at almost anytime of year before the ground freezes. We specialize in dormant, bare root nursery stock that we feel is best to plant in the spring, so the new trees can bud and leaf out before the summer months.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Oct 12, 2020, 1:37 PM
When do you anticipate you will have Lilac seedlings?
Question by: Robert Hunt on Mar 19, 2021, 8:42 AM
Our nursery items are available to order from mid September until they are sold out. We only deliver plants in the spring months, typically April through early June
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Mar 19, 2021, 10:31 AM
Are these all purple like the pictures or do the colors vary on your stock?
Question by: Joe on May 30, 2021, 8:00 AM
The Common Lilac flowers will be purple, we do not have other colors available.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Jun 1, 2021, 12:14 PM
How far apart should I plant these to create a privacy hedge?
Question by: Leanna Tole on May 10, 2023, 3:21 PM
Half the mature width!
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on May 10, 2023, 3:36 PM