Marie Frances

Product Code: lmari

Lilac Marie Frances (Syringa vulgaris)
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This Marie Frances Lilac flowering shrub, Syringa vulgaris, looks just as sweet as it smells. This fragrant lilac has pink-reddish tones with touches of white. Some refer to this lilac as having a shrimp-like color to it. It has an upright, rounded form to it. This blooms late April to early May. At its mature growth it will be 5-7 feet high and wide. Make sure to plant in zones 3-7 for best results.

Planting & Care for Lilac Shrubs


  • Lilac shrubs flower best in full sun, but they do tolerate light shade.
  • Choose an open site, protected from strong, drying winds.
  • Pick a spot in your landscape where air circulates freely, but not overbearing. This will reduce the risk of leaves becoming mildewed.
  • Lilac shrubs need well-drained, organically rich soil.
  • Avoid chalky spots, which may cause lime-induced chlorosis (leaves turn creamy yellow and die).

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 sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted. 

Planting Bare Root

  • Lilac Shrubs can be planted in March-November
  • Dig a hole at least 6" wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the plant should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches.
  • Place fertilizer packets in 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 soil settles completely saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Re-adjust plant and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
  • Back fill the balance of the soil and water well. 

Pruning - After Planting

  • Bare Root - Prune ALL bare root plants to reduce transplant shock and ensure success. Pruning should occur either before or as soon after planting as possible. All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.

Pruning - Through-out the Season

  • Prune Lilac shrubs in November & December.
  • Cut out spent flowers when petals fade.
  • Keep bushes youthful and blooming freely by pruning out a quarter of the oldest shoots each year in winter.
  • Remove any basal suckers. 

Watering - After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as oft en 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.

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 plants need 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.


Go to our "Plant Features & Video Tab" for more information on container plants and how to plant them. 


Handling & Planting Guidelines

Special Features & Videos on Lilac Shrubs

Special Plant Features & Tips

  • Plant March-November.
  • Prune in November & December.
  • Hardiness according to species.
  • Apply a complete plant food or fish, blood and bone meal in spring and midsummer. 
  • If mildew strikes on your lilac bush, leaves are fleeted with powdery-white mold. Improve air flower by thinning crowded shoots and spraying with carbendazim, mancozen or sulfur when symptoms appear. 
  • Flowers in late April early May.
  • Fragrant trusses of lilac blossoms are a spring highlight. 
  • Syringa varieties bloom best in a sunny position. 

What is a bare root plant and how do I plant it?


ItemApprox Weight (lbs.)Approx Base Dimensions (diameter)Approx Height
#7 Grow Bag 35-50 14-16" 5-8'
#10 Grow Bag 55-70 18" 6-8'
#15 Grow Bag 65-80 22" 6-10'
#20 Grow Bag 75-100 24" 8-12'
1 1/4" B&B 250-500 22" for single stems, 28" for multiple stems  8-11'
1 1/2" B&B 325-600 24" for single stems, 30" for multiple stems  10-12'
2" B&B 500-700 28" for single stems, 32" for multiple stems 10-14'
2 1/2" B&B 600-1000 30" for single stems, 36" for multiple stems 10-15'
3" B&B 850-1000 34"-36"  12-16'
3 1/2" B&B 1000 36"  12-18'
10' B&B 250 22"  10'
12' B&B 325 24"  12'
14' B&B 500 28" 14'
16' B&B 600 30"  16'
2' B&B 50 12-16"  2'
3' B&B 60-250 16-22"  3'
4' B&B 250 22-24" 4'
5' B&B 325 22-24"  5'
6' B&B 150-325 16-24" 6'
7' B&B 500-700 28-32"  7'
8' B&B 600-700 14-30"  8'
9' B&B 700 32"  9'
#3 container Less than 35  10" 10" 
#5 container 40 11" 10.5" 
#7 container 60 14" 12" 
#10 container 80 14" 14 
#20 container 160 19.5" 17" 
Bare Root varies, but always lighter no soil on roots varies depending on item

*Any items over 100 Ibs. or that are B&B can only be delivered by our trucks due to FedEx shipping weight restrictions. Our trusted trucks only deliver around a 100 miles radius from our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Any item you order can be picked-up at our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin for free. See our estimated delivery schedule here

Growing Zones: 3-7

Bloom Time: April - May
Color: Green, Pink, Red
Plant Size: 5-7' tall and wide
Flower Color: Pink & Red
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Dry
Low Maintenance: Yes
Deer Resistant: No
Attracts Butterflies: Yes
Attracts Bees: Yes
Attracts Birds: No
Edible: No
Native: No

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