Syringa reticulata

Status: In stock

Product ID#: ljapa
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Local Pick-up Waterloo, WI
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Starting at: $19.99
Product Description
Sun Exposure Sun
Bloom Time Spring
Soil Conditions Normal, Clay/Heavy
Fall Color Yellow
Flower Color White
Fruit Color Brown
Mature Plant Size (H x W) 20-25' x 15-20'
Japanese Tree Lilac, also called Syringa reticulata or the Ivory Silk Lilac Tree, is a classic addition to any landscape due to its unique form and character! Depending on how you prune, Japanese Lilac Trees could be a shrub or a multi-stemmed tree. It has reddish-brown bark and offers an incredible flower display, but be sure to plant them in the full sun for best results. Japanese Lilac Trees bloom in the early summer. Only prune this lilac tree variety right after the blooms are finished, and be very careful not to give any high-nitrogen fertilizer. The creamy white flowers of Japanese Lilac are the last of the lilac trees to bloom. It grows upright when young and spreads more with age.
  • sunshade Sun
  • Mature Plant Size (H x W) Mature Plant Size (H x W): 20-25' x 15-20'
  • Bloom Season Bloom Season: Spring
Key features
  • Attracts Bees
  • Deer Resistant
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Stone Mulch
  • Attracts Butterflies
  • Fragrant Flowers
  • Attracts Pollinators
Planting Care

Planting & Care for Deciduous Shrub – Japanese Lilac Trees

  • Japanese Tree Lilacs bloom their beautiful display in the early summer. Japanese Lilacs are best in full sun but tolerate light shade.
  • Choose an open site, protected from strong, drying winds, where air circulates freely, to reduce the risk of leaves of the Japanese Lilac becoming mildewed.
  • These shrubs need well-drained, organically rich soil.
  • Avoid chalky spots, which may cause lime-induced chlorosis, when leaves turn creamy yellow and die.
  • Plant Syringa reticulata on March-November.
Opening Plant Material
  • Bare Root - Cut open the bundle (top and roots are tied) and separate all the plants. Soak roots in buckets of water until planted. Each plant type will be labeled separately for identification. Do not expose the roots to the sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted.  
  • B&B - Soak root ball of the Japanese Lilac very well. Dig a hole at least 6" wider and no deeper than the size of the ball on the plant. Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move trees by the tops.
Planting Bare Root
  • Plant bare-root trees in fall. A good indicator if you can still plant your Japanese Lilac is if the ground is still workable, you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected, be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6" wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the Japanese Lilac should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches of the lilac tree.
  • Place fertilizer packets in the hole (if purchased). Do not place other fertilizers in the planting hole. *Use our recommended fertilizer.
  • Spread the roots and fill halfway with soil, then water until the soil settles, completely saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Readjust the Japanese Lilac and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
    Backfill the balance of the soil and water well. 
  • See our Handling & Planting Guidelines for illustrations on planting.  
Planting B&B Trees
  • Plant B&B Japanese Lilac Trees in spring or fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable, you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected, be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the lilac tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use our recommended fertilizer.
  • Backfill ½ of the hole with soil and completely saturate the soil with water.
    Once the lilac tree is straight and located as desired, cut and remove twine. Then, remove or bend back top of metal basket. Lastly, remove exposed burlap from top of ball.
  • Fill the hole to the top of the ball with soil, then soak well with water and let settle.
    The top of the root ball of the lilac tree should be visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Add mulch on top of the soil, making sure not to put mulch against the trunk or stems.
  • See our Handling & Planting Guidelines for illustrations on planting.
Pruning - After Planting
  • Bare Root - Prune ALL bare root trees to reduce transplant shock and ensure success. Pruning should occur either before or as soon after planting the lilac tree as possible. All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.
  • B&B - Although it is not essential for B&B to be pruned after planting, a light pruning for shape, to remove any broken branches from shipping, or to thin out a heavily branched Japanese Lilac will help in the transplanting process and in the appearance of your new planting.
Pruning - Through-out the Season
  • Prune in November & December. Cut out spent flowers when the petals of the Japanese Lilac fade. Keep bushes youthful and blooming freely by pruning out a quarter of the older shoots each year in winter. Remove basal suckers.
Watering - After Planting
  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water your Syringa reticulata as often as every 2–4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6-week establishment period, water once per week unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.
Watering - Through-out the Season
  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your lilac tree needs water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Planting & Handling Help

Download our Planting and Handling Guide below to plan for a successful arrival and install of your plants. Be sure to water all plants as soon as they arrive and every day until you’re ready to plant. Keep any bare root bundles in a shady, cool spot with the roots covered at all times.

Learn More

Watch our videos on handling bare root plants, how your order is prepared for shipment and more.

Plant Sizing

What is the difference between Containers, Grow Bags, Bare Root, and Balled & Burlap (B&B)?

Shipping Times

Our FedEx and local shipping times depend on two factors, one is by the region and the second is the type of product being shipped. For example, small fruits are only shipped in spring, but majority of our perennials are shipped from spring until fall. Keep in mind the dates below act as a general guide. Due to unpredictable weather, staffing, inventory and industry demands these timelines can change. Therefore, we cannot guarantee any of these times.


Shipping Dates by Region*


Northern Cold Region: April 22nd - November 7th

Northern Region: April 15th - November 7th

Middle Region: April 1st - November 7th

Southern Region: March 15th - November 7th

Local Delivery (small radius from Waterloo, WI): April 22nd - November 7th


Shipping Dates by Season*


Spring Shipping: Region Start Date (above) - May

Fall Shipping: September - November


Due to unpredictable weather, these times may vary. Some varieties are exceptions due to heat and plant health reasons. Enter your shipping zip code at the top of this page and be sure to check the shipping information on each product before you add it to your cart. If the product is too large or restricted in your state, you will not be able to checkout with that item in your cart.