How to Grow and Care for Bloomerang Lilac

Bloomerang® lilac bush with small purple blooms and buds in sunlight

The Spruce / K. Dave

Lilac lovers often feel that the lilac bloom cycle is just too short. Lilac bushes bloom for about two weeks in May, and before you know it, the blooms have faded until next year. If you cannot get enough of the look and fragrance of purple lilacs, you have the option to plant late-blooming varieties or add a Bloomerang lilac tree to your landscape or patio. A Bloomerang lilac tree is a registered trademark hybrid that's bred to grow smaller than a common lilac bush. It features clusters of lavender and purple flowers with four splayed petals. Plant this lilac in the early spring or fall to give its roots enough time to grow for its blooming seasons.

Common Name Bloomerang lilac, reblooming lilac
Botanical Name Syringa x
Family Oleaceae
Plant Type Deciduous shrub
Mature Size 4-5 ft. tall and wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Loamy
Soil pH Slightly alkaline
Bloom Time Spring and mid-summer through fall
Flower Color Lavender, pink, purple
Hardiness Zones 3a-7b (USDA)
Native Area Non-native hybrid

Bloomerang Lilac Care

Hybrids like the Bloomerang lilac are cultivated for best performance and disease resistance. As such, they are a low-maintenance and almost carefree shrub for borders, foundations, and privacy screens. Bloomerang lilacs can be planted as a specimen plant, in small groups, or as mass plantings and just like the common lilac, it is deer-resistant.

Bloomerang® lilac bush with purple blooms in middle of garden

The Spruce / K. Dave

Bloomerang® lilac with small purple-white blooms clustered near arrow-shaped leaves

The Spruce / K. Dave

Bloomerang® lilac with tall purple-white flower clusters on top of bushes

The Spruce / K. Dave

Light

Bloomerang lilacs do best in full sun. They can tolerate partial shade but will not produce as many blooms.

Soil

Like all lilacs, Bloomerang prefers soil that is rich in organic matter. The soil should be neutral to slightly alkaline. Lilacs do not like acidic soil (pH 6.5 or lower). Good drainage is essential; lilacs do poorly in soggy, wet soil.

Water

Mulch around the base of your lilac to retain moisture. In long dry periods, water it moderately but regularly when the top inch of soil feels dry.

Temperature and Humidity

Like most lilacs, Bloomerang needs an extended period of cold winter weather to bloom profusely. This makes lilacs unsuitable for hot climates. While Bloomerang lilac can be planted as far south as USDA hardiness zone 7, it is best grown in areas with cooler summers. In areas with hot summers, the lilac fares better in locations that provide some shelter from the strong afternoon sun.

The shrub is not affected by humidity unless the weather is very hot and humid, which will slow down reblooming.

Fertilizer

Fertilize Bloomerang lilacs twice, the first time in early spring right after the ground becomes soft, and a second time after the spring bloom to give it a good boost for the continued summer bloom. Use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus to encourage blooming, and avoid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen because too much nitrogen encourages foliage growth but not blooms.

Types of Bloomerang Lilac

  • Bloomerang Purple ‘Penda’ is a standard-sized cultivar with lavender-colored flowers.
  • Bloomerang Dark Purple ‘SMSJBP7’ is a standard-sized cultivar with dark purple flowers.
  • Bloomerang ‘Pink Perfume’ is a standard-sized cultivar with pink flowers.
  • Bloomerang Dwarf Pink ‘SMNJRPI’ is a compact cultivar that reaches only two to three feet in height and spread. It has pink flowers.
  • Bloomerang Dwarf Purple ‘SMNJRPU’ is a compact cultivar with purple flowers.
Bloomerang Dark Purple
Bloomerang Dark Purple F.D. Richards / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Pruning

Bloomerang lilacs bloom on old and new wood (last year's stems and this year's new stem growth), and because of their fairly small size do not require regular pruning. If you want to shape the plant, prune it with sterile garden pruners immediately after flowering. For a neater appearance, you can remove spent flowers right after flowering in spring, but it’s not essential. Never prune Bloomerang lilacs in fall, winter, or spring during flowering because pruning at that time could remove developing flower buds.

Propagating Bloomerang Lilac

The cultivar is a registered trademark and propagating it by cuttings or seed is prohibited by a plant patent. Only the breeder is allowed to propagate this series of lilacs and sell them under the name Bloomerang.

Potting and Repotting Bloomerang Lilac

Unlike common lilac and other larger lilac species, Bloomerang lilacs can be grown in containers, especially the dwarf varieties. Keep in mind that lilacs, even compact varieties, have an extensive root system. The container should be large, at least 18- to 24-inches in diameter.

Before you start, review these common container gardening mistakes, such as filling a container with potting soil before it is placed in its final location. An 18-inch diameter container for a Bloomerang lilac holds about 15 gallons of soil and moving it after you planted can be cumbersome. Make sure your container has plenty of drainage holes that allow water to drain thoroughly and prevent root rot. Also, stay away from plastic containers that hold too much moisture, and choose wood, concrete, or resin pots for this plant.

Sufficient watering is crucial to keep your Bloomerang lilac alive and blooming. Follow the guidelines for watering container plants.

Overwintering

Protect fragile, young plants with mulch and covering after their second bloom in the fall.

Common Plant Diseases

Bloomerang lilac is more resistant to powdery mildew and leaf spots than common lilacs, but it is not immune to the problem. Because powdery mildew, a fungus, thrives in humid weather, ensure good air circulation in and around your Bloomerang lilac by giving it enough space to mature. Plant shrubs at least 5 to 6 feet apart.

How to Get Bloomerang Lilacs to Bloom

Bloomerang lilacs are meant to easily bloom and then rebloom. The spring bloom is different from the summer and fall bloom when the panicles are smaller and darker in color than in the spring. To make sure your Bloomerang reblooms, it needs to grow well in the late spring and early summer.

During the spring and summer, keep your shrub moist and give it six hours of daily sun for the best fall flowers. Lightly fertilize before and after the spring bloom and very lightly prune the shrub after its spring flowering. These two things should encourage more new growth which will help maximize late summer and fall flowering. However, by pruning you may run the risk of eliminating developing buds. For best results, go slowly and snip off a part of a branchlet just beneath the spent flower.

If your shrub is in a container, make sure the pot is large enough and the plant is not root bound. A crowded, rootbound Bloomerang lilac will not be happy and won't bloom very well.

Common Problems With Bloomerang Lilacs

Bloomerang lilacs remain relatively healthy except for powdery mildew that can cause disfiguration of the leaves. This hybrid is robust, however, and the mildew is more of an aesthetic annoyance and does not usually have any effect on the shrub's growth and bloom. Use a fungicide to control the mildew and rake up leaves around the plant annually.

FAQ
  • How big does a Bloomerang lilac tree get?

    Bloomerang lilacs can grow to 5 feet tall, sometimes 6 feet. A compact Bloomerang cultivar can grow 2 to 3 feet tall.

  • Do Bloomerang lilacs really rebloom?

    Bloomerang lilacs bloom twice a year. The shrub flowers heavily in May around the same time as the common lilac. In June, the shrub takes a break before starting to bloom again in July until the first frost.

  • Are Bloomerang lilacs fragrant?

    Bloomerang lilacs are fragrant and they smell just like common lilacs. The beautiful color and fragrance of this re-blooming lilac are not just prized by humans—butterflies and hummingbirds will seek it out as well.