Lilac trees okay?

Asked June 18, 2020, 8:31 AM EDT

Do lilac trees, even though not native to Michigan, make good neighbors with other bushes/shrubs? We live in northern Michigan (Leelanau) in the country and plant native species mostly. But I do love lilacs. Okay to bring one or more in? Thank you. George Felton

Leelanau County Michigan

1 Response


Any lilac would probably do well in your area since they thrive in zones 3 – 7. Common lilac, (Syringa vulgaris) is the old-fashioned one that grew in our grandmother’s gardens (and probably still do). It grows 20-30 feet in height and 15-25 in spread. A smaller one, Meyer lilac (Syringa meyeri), is smaller—4-8 feet tall and 1 ½ times that in spread. ‘Paliban’ is the one you would most likely find in the nurseries . Another lilac that you will find at nurseries in Manchurian lilac (Syringa pubescens subsp patula ) ‘Miss Kim’ which is larger than the Meyer lilac.

Lilacs prefer neutral soil with organic matter added. Many diseases and insects attack the common lilac including powdery mildew, so they should be planted in a sunny area with good air circulation. The Meyer lilac is much easier to grow and does not contract mildew.

I hope this helps you make your decision.

Thank you for your question.