While lilacs are starting to wind down around the state, they’re just getting going on Mackinac Island. The annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival started last weekend and continues through Sunday, June 15th. Here’s a few tips courtesy the Lilac Festival and Jeff Young, Lilac Curator at the University of Vermont Horticultural Research Center, Master Gardener and presenter of the “Walk and Talk with Lilacs” program during the Lilac Festival.
- Common Lilacs need to have 9-12 canes for each 6 feet
- Leave at least 2 feet between mature Lilacs.
- Plant new shrubs 16 feet apart (circular shape)
- Allow for a few more canes if you are planting as a hedge with less depth.
- If you have too many canes, consider the oldest canes for removal first, leaving good spacing between canes.
- If not enough canes, pick one or two of the best suckers each year until there are enough.
- Once the Lilac is established, consider adding one new cane and removing the oldest cane each year to create a vigorous, healthy full flowering plant.
More at the Lilac Festival website.