Best Lilac for Alabama ?

scandia(7)February 21, 2006

Does anybody know which Lilac grows best in Alabama? I have one is a White Persian which is doing well in Alabama Clay..

Anybody have any other suggestions????

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IMO, there is no best or good lilac for AL.
You may want to check out Syringa meyeri and S. patula 'Miss Kim'.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:37AM
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alex_z7(7 AL)

I have had a 'Miss Kim' for almost 2 years now. So far, so good. It's a small plant but bloomed very nicely last year.

Lilacs aren't supposed to do well here so I TRY not to get too attached to it....I love the fragrance.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 2:28PM
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dirtyoldman(z7B AL)

'Lavender Lady', which has purple flowers, blooms fine in north and central Alabama. The most heat tolerant lilac of all is cutleaf lilac (Syringa laciniata), which blooms well even in south Alabama. It's not easy to find though.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 4:04PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions...I want to add a couple purple lilacs to my yard....I will try to pick spots for them that supply some shelter/shade from the sun/heat.

I bought the Persian lilac from WalMart about 2 years ago..It is 8ft tall now and seems to be happy. I had bought 3 purple Persians too but they died over the winter..They were all planted in a VERY sunny part of my yard..

This time I will pick better locations for them.

I have read some info about them..It seems they like alkaline soil rather then acidic..I have a lot of Mature/HUGE White Oaks which shed their leaves all over..My neighbor told me that the red clay and white oak leaves are acidic...Is that true??I usually will leave the leaves on my gardens all winter..Most of my plants thrive in acidic soil...I want these lilacs because they remind me of my Mother..(who is deceased) She loved Lilac...How do I amend the soil to make it more alkaline aka reasonable for Lilacs to be happy??

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 9:16AM
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i believe there may be something to that comment about the soil chemistry.
to raise the ph to a more alkaline level, you can add wood ashes or lime, though it may be a while before the effects are seen.
we had a lavender ilac (don't know the name) that flowered well in (approx.)3/4 sun in lauderdale county when i was growing up.
fwiw, i have tried the cutleaf lilac in east central alabama twice and they both slowly died. could be the heat factor (or lack of winter chill) this far south.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 9:30AM
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It does get cold here not below 0 but freezing at night in winter...I am near Huntsville...

I want the lilac to look more like a tree then a bush...My Mother use to trim her lilacs so they looked like trees.

Yes I am going to attempt this with what ever lilac I pick..Of course I will wait for a few years for it to get established..

I did trim the Persian I have, to look more like a tree and it is JUST HAPPY...It is in Red Clay and in a SUNNY area...
BUT it is the only survivor out of 4 that I originally planted..I thought Persian lilacs could survive in desert conditions???

I have to plan carefully for these new lilacs because in my mind I NEED them to remind me of my Mother...

How do I figure out how much lime to put into the soil???

I remember she use to admire her neighbors lilac bush which was HUGE 8 ft tall and 10 ft wide..She said that their lilac was the OLD kind that had a heavenly fragrance..Which has been cross bred out of modern day lilacs..I remember she was VERY upset when a new neighbor moved in and cut down that lilac.

She did manage to transplant some pieces..

I wish I knew someone who had an old lilac..Are the OLD lilacs available anymore??? I mean ones that have not had their fragrance bred out of them??

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 10:16AM
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dirtyoldman(z7B AL)

I hate to dash your hopes, but old-fashioned lilacs just don't thrive in Alabama. They need a good bit of winter chill to bloom well and they don't get that here. I don't think soil pH is that big a factor. Everyone says lilacs need alkaline soil, but they do great in the Northeast where the soil is acid. What lilacs really need is a long, cold winter. That ain't Alabama.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 12:42PM
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Well I am going to try my best to have lilac in my yard..I will let you all know how it goes.

I wish I would have been more aware of my Mother's gardening habits when I was younger.

Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 11:13AM
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louby_al(7 AL)

I don't know anything about lilacs but I do know about missing your Mother. My Mother passed away in 2000 and I miss her so. I wish you great success with your lilacs.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 1:59PM
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There quite a few "lilac" trees that grow wild in Alabama. One day I took a small branch to the local nursery to find out exactly what it was.. and she said it was a chinaberry tree aka lilac tree. Anyway they grow good here in the southern half of bama and would most likely do good anywhere around here....
Here's a link for some info... also, do a google and see what all you can find.

but also be sure to read other info. they say some types can be invasive.

The photo on that page doesn't look nearly as pretty as the flowers actually look in person. They are a really soft lavender/rich purple color. Dark in the center, and lighter toward the outside of the petals.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 7:26PM
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Caseysmom, I do not believe what you are referring to is a liliac. A chinaberry tree is quite a different thing from a lilac. There are no lilac's in the southern part of Alabama. The only lilac I have ever had any luck with is Little Kim. I have had it several years and it blooms but does not get big but I suppose that is why it is little Kim. It smells just as good as the the big ones, I might add.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Whatever it actually is... it's still beautiful, and smells intoxicating.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 1:31PM
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A NEW LILIAC FOR LOW CHILL, EXCEL LILAC, heard about it at a garden show in Atlanta. Grows 8-10 feet tall.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 9:08AM
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alpharetta(z7 GA)

I am living in atlanta. I planted couple diffirent lilacs. they survive but no flowers. I still want to find the right lilac for my yard. Here are couple lilacs advertised that will grow in hot and humid zone:

Lilac Blue Skies®
Old Glory
Lavender Lady

Anyone tried these in Atlanta GA? It's good to have confirmation before I jump buying these.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 3:02PM
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I consider my lavender crape myrtle to be the closest thing to lilac that I can grow here in south AL, except for maybe a chaste tree.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 10:52PM
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