lilac

I love the look and smell of lilacs this time of the year, but have some questions. The ones I usually see around here (Midwest USA zone 5) are very sparse at the bottom. Is that the way they are supposed to be? I would like to plant a row about 20 feet from the house, but I don't like the look of the ones I see when they are not in bloom. Is it because the ones I have seen are not pruned correctly or is this the way it grows? If it is supposed to be bushy at the top and thin at the bottom, what would be some good shade plants to help cover up the bottom?
Thanks for your help Tracey
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Tracey Jo Legel wrote:

Yup.
You might be happier with some of the miniatures. I have two in my yard that are only about 5-6 feet high, and they bloom just as nicely but with limbs much lower to the ground so they look like any other bush when not blooming.
On the other hand, I have one clump of lilac that now reaches the roof on that side of the house and spreads a good ten feet on each side of the main trunks and there is nothing like being underneath it when it is blooming. In the summer it forms a wonderful cool green cave.
Dawn
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Tracey Jo Legel Wrote:

Hi Tracey,
I think it's all in the way you grow and prune them. If prune th oldest stems to the ground and allow some suckers to grow to replac the oldest stems, then your lilac will stay fuller. It can take a ne sprout 5 to 7 years to bloom. Also, prune the tops within two weeks o the finish of bloom or you will prune off next year's buds. Don' fertilize with a fertilizer high in nitrogen. Lilacs prefer a mor alkaline soil, so if you have acid soil, add a cup of lime around th base every couple of years. Here's some interesting sites abou lilacs.
http://tinyurl.com/azby8 http://www.lilacs.com/frames/care.htm http://tinyurl.com/73bqy http://tinyurl.com/al2a5 http://tinyurl.com/cde27 http://tinyurl.com/7whm2
Enjoy, New
-- Newt
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Thank you for the information. I do have alkaline soil, so this just may work out fine.
Tracey
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Hi Tracey
Lilacs can be rejuvenated by encouraging the suckers to grow. Then you can cut 1/3 of the leggy limbs each year for 3 years. It will be a nice shrub.

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