LILACS - In San Francisco!!!

patmonk(10a: Sunset17)March 10, 2012

As I'm here, FYI.

I miss the smell of Lilacs that grew in our garden in England. Last year I tried an experiment. I purchased a Syringa Bloomerang from White Flower Farm. I was disappointed when I opened the box to find what looked like a bunch of dead twigs. To cut a long story short, I potted it and it limped along all year, a few green leaves and a couple of tiny flowers. I essentially left it alone all winter. A few weeks ago it suddenly sprang to life. It is now about 12" tall, bushy and covered with new green leaves. Maybe I'll have Tomatoes and Lilac this year !!.

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Fabulous, Pat! Post some photos for us to see!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:46PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

They grow (sort of) at Descanso, and SF is much colder than Descanso, so it may eventually prosper for you. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 6:08PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Here in the woods on the north side of the mountain, we are only slightly colder and warmer than SF. We do grow old fashion lilac and they do bloom, just not nearly as good as in the east. I am sure the Descanso hybrids would work for you and hope you give them a try. Al

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 9:49AM
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patmonk(10a: Sunset17)

Thanks y'all.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Wow! I'm not sure I've ever seen a real lilac in my life!

Here in Sacramento we make do with Ceanothus; the Yankee Point variety has a beautiful scent, but sadly it's a ground cover so you have to work to smell it and the varieties that grow into healthy shrubs have a sticky chlorine kind of smell.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 3:39PM
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lisascenic Urban Gardener, Oakland CA

We bought a house in East Oakland a few years back. The garden was totally neglected and choked by vines. After much excavation, I discovered two sad looking lilacs.

And they're blooming right now!

Lovely scent.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:56AM
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I have lilacs that I have been growing up in the Santa Cruz Mts. for 25 years. They don't do great but do produce some flowers. Not like the lilacs I grew up with in New England. When I lived in San Jose, my neighbor had some that were as tall as his house. I think they were 30-40 years old at the time and covered in flowers. He use to bring me 5 gal buckets full of blooms. I wish mine had grown like that.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 6:10PM
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toffee-el(Z8b Sunset Z13 Elev 4650ft)

I am in Los Altos, 40 miles south of SF and much warmer. I have two Persian Lilac ( that was ordered as bare root from mail order outfit 5-6 years ago. They are now full grown and blooms every spring.

this pic was taken 3 years after planted:

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:50PM
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toffee-el - Beautiful lilacs! Wish mine grew like that. Do you have to do anything to the soil to get them to flower like that? I give mine acid loving plant fertilizer but still don't get a display like that. Also have them on a soaker hose for the summer.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:23PM
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karynlynn(Zone 9w; Sunset 17)

I got a Descanso hybrid called 'Lavender Lady' and it's blooming in Berkeley right now. Smells divine, light purple flowers in small cones. I'm thinking of trying 'FK Smith' with white/pink flowers, also a Descanso hybrid. The lilacs here will probably not be the lush, giant plants you encounter back east, though. The descanso hybrids are your best bet, but one needs to adjust one's expectations for lilacs here!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Descansos lilacs were in full bloom at Easter and the scent was incredible. The plants are 6 feet tall. Try to find a sunny spot to avoid mildew on the leaves.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 11:55PM
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