Monday, July 13, 2009

Josee Lilac

When I first came across this little beauty, I thought that I should dig up the lilac I have and plant this one instead.  The nursery that put in our landscaping didn’t give me a real detailed layout.  It said something like this:

  • Cherry Tree (we have a Kwanzan Cherry)
  • Roses (at the time they were Julia Child – that’s another story)
  • Crape Myrtle (we have Razzle Dazzles – had to push for this information)
  • Liriope (this one was sufficient)
  • Holly (we have China Girl – first berries are appearing this year!)
  • Balloon Flowers (again, sufficient)
  • Dwarf Lilac

There are a zillion varieties of lilac out there, even in the dwarf category.  After this weekend, I’m starting to wonder if we actually do have a Josee Lilac.  The


Josee Lilac was the first REBLOOMING lilac I had ever come across.  That the thing about lilacs, when they bloom, they are gorgeous!  After a week or two, the blooms fade and you are left with a pretty shrub, but no more flowers – until the next spring.


Anyway, so I was shocked this weekend when I saw blooms out on my lilac bush.  It’s July!!!!



Category Deciduous Shrub
Common Name

Josee Reblooming Lilac

Formal Name Syringa Josee
Description This dwarf lilac is a gorgeous rebloomer.  It will put out 4” – 5” shoots filled with trumpet shaped flowers intermittently summer through fall.  A perfect hedge or stand alone shrub worth looking at.


Josee Reblooming Lilac My Lilac

The first picture is a stock photo of a Josee Lilac. The second picture is of my lilac.

  • Hedge
  • Stand Alone
  • Border (along side of house would be good)
Light Requirements

Full Sun

Soil Requirements Well drained
Water Requirements Average watering needs
Height 4’ – 6’
Spread 4’ – 5’
Growing Zone 2 - 9
Manicuring or Pruning For shape – I’d let it go natural by only pruning the wild branches. 

As with all lilacs, only prune right after flowering as the seeds form on old wood.  If you prune them much later, you could cut off next year’s flowers.

That said, lilacs have to be pruned occasionally in order to promote blooming at all.  If the wood gets too old, it won’t bloom.  It’s a delicate balance.  It has been suggested that you prune about a third of the branches down to the ground each year for three years.  In theory, you would be removing the oldest branches each year and thus at the end of three years, would have a completely regenerated plant.  This will promote the best chance at flowering each year.
Fertilization They don’t need much, but use something low in nitrogen.  Nitrogen is good for foliage, but not as much for blooming.
Growth Cycle Moderate to fast growth
Bloom Time Summer through frost – intermittent
Bloom Color Lavenderish-pink
  • Just buy one at a nursery or one the sources below.
  • Softwood cuttings are another option
Maintenance Level Low
Special Features
  • Deer Resistant
  • Attracts Butterflies
Known Issues This is a hybrid so it is most likely bred to resist most diseases.  It can be susceptible to a powdery mildew – generally if it gets too much water.
Planting Instructions Plant in the spring or fall about 5’ apart.  Dig a hole as deep as and twice as wide as the root ball.  After placing the plant, back-fill about halfway with soil.  Water well to remove any air pockets.  After water has drained, finish filling in, and water again.


MzzLily said...

I put this on my garden wish list. Already wanted a lilac. Now I know which one. Thanks!

SweetPeaSurry said...

I can't wait to have a yard to landscape. Bloody balconies! Heh


SquirrelQueen said...

Those are very pretty. The ones I have only bloom in the Spring. This variety would be great and add color all season.

Sara Chapman said...

I've learned that lilacs like a "sweet" or non-acid soil. My leaves were yellow-ish and I added some dolomitic lime as per instructions and voila! Nice, green leaves. We'll see if next year these young bushes flower.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 of these lilacs and they are great! Several years ago I had a hard time finding one that would grow in South Texas where I live and I stumbled across Josee. What a great plant.

Casey Family Blog said...

I have Josee Lilacs that are three years old. This past winter we had a lot of heavy wet snow. A number of the branches have been broken off. Any suggestions what to do with these. If you do, please respond back to me at Thank you so very very much.

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of josee lilacs that are about 2 years old. Very beautiful and blooms a lot but I notice a couple of weeks ago one of them is dying and another one is looking like its heading that way too. The leaves starts out having little brown spots and then the leaves turned brown. The only thing that I can think of is that we didn't have any rain for the most part of the summer and then it started to rain lots just before fall started.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.