How to Grow and Care For Miss Kim Lilac Tree
Miss Kim lilac is a beautiful flowering shrub that produces fragrant, purple blooms in spring. This deciduous shrub has a short mature height and its distinctive fragrance differs from the common French lilac. For those who have limited space in their gardens, planting Miss Kim lilac trees is an excellent choice. When planted in full sun, this shrub will add phenomenal color and texture to any landscape.
If you want to know how to grow and care for this flowering shrub, you’ll find all the useful information right here.
Miss Kim Lilac Tree Quick Overview
|Scientific Name||Syringa pubescens|
|Plant type||flowering deciduous shrub|
|Hardiness zone||3 to 8|
|Max growth||6-9 feet|
|Bloom time||spring to early summer|
|Propagation||from young cuttings|
|Pests||powdery mildew, leaf spots, scales, borers|
Miss Kim Lilac Characteristics
- Miss Kim lilac is used as a specimen plant, a hedge, foundation plant or a mixed shrub.
- The upright lilac blooms of this shrub start as deep purple buds that develop into clusters of highly aromatic, lavender-blue flowers. In fall, the foliage turns into a burgundy color.
- When compared to other lilacs, Miss Kim is shorter and more compact. This slow-growing shrub can take up to three seasons to reach maturity height. But you don’t have to wait for long for its first blooms!
- The scent of Miss Kim lilac is sweet and strong, even a little overly sharp for some. These shrubs are best grown outdoors as their fragrance can be overpowering.
How to Grow and Care for Miss Kim Lilac
Miss Kim lilac prefers full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade, although it won’t produce as many blooms. The ideal location is at least 6-8 hours of direct sun per day.
Miss Kim thrives in well-drained soil with a neutral pH level. This lilac doesn’t like highly acidic soil so you should add some compost to increase the soil’s alkalinity. Be sure to test your soil’s pH levels first using a home test kit.
Miss Kim needs average moisture. When planting, water the soil well until the new plant has established. After it’s well-rooted, it will tolerate short drying periods. Water weekly in temperate climates, but in warmer months, increase watering. Take care not to overwater or underwater your lilac. Otherwise it won’t bloom.
Temperature and Humidity
Miss Kim lilacs can survive in most climates, but they do prefer cool summer temperatures. Overall, they are hardy plants that tolerate temperature fluctuations.
After planting your Miss Kim lilac, wait for a month before fertilizing the plant. Give the shrub a quarter cup of slow-release high-nitrogen and high-potassium fertilizer like an 18-6-12 formula. Fertilizers encourage root formation and leafy growth, but to get the most out of these products, be sure to keep the soil moist during the first growing season. After the roots become established, you won’t need to keep the soil moist as often.
When it comes to feeding your Miss Kim lilac, the general guideline is: not too much and not too little. Too much fertilizer can cause weak vegetative growth rather than blooms. Additionally, over-fertilizing will leave the shrub prone to pest attacks and disease problems. Underfertilizing will also cause fewer blooms and stunted growth. Always observe your shrub’s health; if you see slow growth, feed it. Otherwise, skip the fertilizing for a year.
You can propagate your Miss Kim with softwood cuttings. Start by taking a 4-6-inch long cutting from the shrub’s new growth in late spring or early summer. Next, remove the bottom leaves and put the end of the cutting in rooting hormone before planting it in a mixture consisting of potting soil, perlite, and sand. Make sure the upper leaves are exposed. Place the potted plant in a warm location and keep the soil moist until the roots are established.
Within a matter of weeks, the propagated plant is ready to be transplanted into a larger pot or in the garden.
Most gardeners prefer planting Miss Kim lilac in the garden as part of their landscape. If you live in a region with winters that don’t fall below -40 degrees fahrenheit, you’ll easily be able to grow your lilac tree in the garden. Lilacs are the most winter hardy plants and as long as they get protected from icy chills, they can adapt to their outdoor environment. When planting in the ground, be sure to place the lilac in full sun and keep it as close to your lawn as possible.
Pruning and Deadheading
Deadheading your Miss Kim will increase blooming the following year. This should only be done if the flowers are looking less than perfect.
Pruning should be done right after the end of the blooming period. If you prune your lilac too late in the season, however, it won’t bloom the year after. Likewise, pruning too severely will stunt blooming for up to 3 years.
If you want to keep your Miss Kim lilac’s size short, prune it starting from the top. Cut the top off the flowers as soon as they wilt. This will help increase blooming the following year. It is also recommended to increase air circulation by trimming the overgrown twigs.
If your Miss Kim lilac hasn’t been pruned for a long time, you should remove one-third of the shrub’s wood in the first year, the remaining in year two and the rest in year three.
Alternatively, you may want to cut half of the shrub to around 9 inches high. While this may sound drastic, these lilacs are hardy plants that will grow back with lots more blooms within a few years after being severely pruned.
Common Diseases and Pests
Just like any other landscape shrub, Miss Kim lilac can succumb to diseases and pests. Some of these include:
Bacterial blight: this disease causes branch and shoot dieback and distorted leaves. Symptoms of bacterial blight are brown spots on the leaves. Blossom may also turn brown or become limp. To treat, pune the diseased plant by thinning the inside of the shrub. If the infection is widespread, apply a copper fungicide and don’t overwater the soil.
Powdery mildew: this is one of the most common problems in lilacs and is caused by a variety of fungal diseases, resulting in a powdery appearance on the leaves either in isolated places or throughout the surfaces. To treat, increase air circulation around the diseased leaves and make sure you prune the plant annually.
Leaf spots: these are another common fungal problem caused by bacterial growth. The symptoms include brown spots on the leaves or leaf loss in severe cases. This disease usually occurs as a result of high humidity levels, but it can be treated by thinning out the shrub and cleaning up the fallen leaves.
Scales: while these pests can be difficult to detect, most appear like waxy growths on the branches and stems of Miss Kim lilacs. If you look closely, you will find tiny, brightly colored insects on the stems of the shrub. To treat, several applications of neem oil will be necessary. Apply every 7 to 14 days. If the stems are clustered together, prune them out in order to prevent future infections.
Borers: the clearwing moth’s larvae is a boring insect that likes feeding on lilacs. These small caterpillars live inside the branches and stems of Miss Kim and only come out when they want to mate. The most effective prevention measure is to keep your lilac healthy as happy shrubs are less likely to attract borers.
Why is my Miss Kim lilac tree not blooming?
The lack of blooming on lilac bushes could be due to too much nitrogen. Although lilacs don’t need much fertilizing, giving them too much nitrogen can keep the bush from blooming.
What is the difference between a lilac shrub and a lilac tree?
There is no difference between a lilac shrub and a lilac tree. They are the same plant but with different names. But due to their short bushy appearance, flowering lilacs are mostly referred to as a shrub rather than a tree.
How many times a year do Miss Kim lilacs bloom?
Miss Kim lilacs produce hardy blooms with reblooms lasting for around 6 weeks through spring and summer.
How do I deadhead my Miss Kim lilac?
Simply cut the dead flowers using a sharp shearing tool. Leave the leaves and stem in place. To encourage reblooming, deadhead your lilac at the end of the summer or early fall.
The beautiful Miss Kim Lilac is a unique shrub that can act as either a focal point in your garden or a privacy screen. To make the most of its blooms’ fragrance, plant the tree somewhere close to your window. These lovely flowering shrubs are so easy to care for that no garden or yard should be without one!