The Miss Kim Lilac is one of the most adorable and fragrant of all Lilac bushes. It is originated in Korea and is also considered a “Manchurian” lilac (according to Fine Gardening). The taxonomy of this plant is Syringa pubescens subsp. patula ‘Miss Kim.’ Unlike many other lilac varieties, this shrub can withstand U.S.
“Miss Kim” usually starts to bloom three to five years after planting. It blooms from late summer into fall, extending the season with deep purple buds that reveal clusters fragrant, lavender-blue flowers. In fall, the dark green leaves turn a beautiful reddish purple.
“Miss Kim ” Lilac is one of the most widely grown because of its upright and compact form. This shrub grows slowly, especially during the first three years, but eventually, it can grow to a height of 6 to 9 feet and a width of 5 to 7 feet.
The Miss Kim Lilac prefers full sun to thrive and requires little maintenance beyond regular watering and annual pruning. It can also do well in areas of partial shade but will bloom less profusely in lower light.
“Miss Kim” Lilac makes a wonderful shrub for foundation plantings and provides a great privacy screen when planted in groups.
Miss Kim Lilac is a deciduous shrub and belongs to the olive family of plants. It is great for border accent or mass planting. The plants tend to draw butterflies and their flowers attract hummingbirds. Nature lovers will value them for the creatures that they draw to the landscape.
Choose a site where your Miss Kim Lilac will get full sun – (at least 6 hours of sunlight daily). Be sure the area is well drained. Miss Kim don’t like wet feet and will not bloom with too much water. The Miss Kim Lilac is likely to succeed with just a little effort on your part regarding site preparation.
These Lilac varieties grow best in well-draining, neutral to the slightly alkaline soil (at a pH near 7.0). If your soil is in poor condition (The soil’s pH level falls below 6.5), amend the soil with a small amount of compost to improve drainage and add lime. If you’re not sure, buy a soil test at the garden center or a local nursery and test the soil.
The soil composition also makes a difference between a blooming and non-blooming lilac. Ideally, you will want to work some hummus or loam into the ground, that creates a well-drained garden for the lilac’s roots. You can even add some gravel to this mixture to create an even airier soil composition, preventing root rot and blooming issues.
Water well. Keep your soil evenly moist, but not soggy, during the first growing season. Once the roots are established, your lilac will be able to cope with the dry condition, especially if you applied bark mulch when planting.
Check the soil regularly for moisture level. If the soil around your lilacs is dry, add water. Just be aware that overwatering lilacs can cause them to drown, therefore the need for a well-draining soil.
In terms of pruning, the Miss Kim Lilac doesn’t require the amount of pruning that Syringa Vulgaris does. Since the brushes bloom on old wood, it’s critical to prune your Miss Kim lilac late in the winter or early in the spring right after blooming is done. Here is a tip: If your lilac flower clusters are getting smaller, it’s time to prune!
It’s a good idea to prune the oldest and most damaged branches from the shrub to generate a good blooming season. Leaving old branches on your shrub does not ensure you of a voluminous blooming season in the future. In fact, your lilac needs to concentrate its energy on the youngest branches to produce large and more fragrant blooms. If you leave your lilac brush to grow wild, the blooms will be small or fail to grow.
If you are trying to limit the lilac’s size, scale it back appropriately. Besides, you may want to lop off the heads of flowers as soon as they have wilted. This will help produce increased blooming next year, as well as possible reblooming in the current year. It’s also a great idea to promote air circulation by giving them enough spacing.
If your Miss Kim Lilac is old and in really bad shape, you may want to remove one-third of the oldest in year one, half of the remaining old wood in year two, and the rest of year three.
Another choice for old lilacs is to chop the whole thing back to around 7 or 9 inches high. It sounds drastic, but Miss Kim Lilacs are very hardy. The upside to this option is less work and more reward, as the Miss Kim Lilac will grow back bursting with blooms. The downside is that it may take a few years to grow back.
Infertile soil, these shrubs rarely need additional fertilizing. If you choose to fertilize your lilac, it is recommended that you fertilize the shrubs in late fall to early spring to boost plant growth and again after blooming season ends to promote flower bud set for the following year.
Uses in landscaping
Syringa vugaris is often used to form a privacy border in landscaping property lines because of its larger form.
By contrast, the upright, compact lilac does well in foundation plantings. You can grow both so as to improve the sequence of bloom in your landscape since they bloom at different times of the year.
Because of Miss Kim lilac’s small form, it makes a good choice if you’re pressed for room in your yard. It’s also great for border accent or mass planting.
When growing a Miss Kim lilac, you will take advantage of the time it blooms. It means you don’t have to wait as long for the first blooms on a newly installed specimen.
Hardy, yet performs in southern regions, with excellent powdery mildew resistance.
So what about the drawback of Miss Kim lilac?
Miss Kim lilac’s flowers smell is strong and overly sharp to some noses, but many growers feel that the quality of the scent in inferior to that of Syringa vulgaris. It’s important to keep in mind that just because you heard someone say that the fragrance equals that of the French lilacs, it doesn’t mean that if you feel the same smell. So, views on smells are subjective, just don’t buy base on that!
Some Facts of Miss Kim lilacs
- Botanical Pronunciation: si-RING-ga pew-BES-senz PAT-ew-la
- Height: 6 to 9 feet
- Width: 5 to 7 feet
- Plant type: Shrub
- Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous
- Growing zones: 3 to 8
- Growth habit: Round
- Growth rate: Slow
- Special features: Upright and compact form, Attracts Butterflies and hummingbirds, Easy Care, Fall Color, Excellent powdery mildew resistance, Tolerates Road Salt.
- Foliage color: Green
- Blooms: late in the winter or early in the spring
- Flower color: Purple
- Flower attributes: Flowers for Cutting, Fragrant, Showy Flowers
- Garden style: Cottage, Rustic
- Design Ideas: Foundation plantings, to place in the front of a border, or use as a low hedge along the drive or sidewalk.
- Companion: PlantsBoxwood (Buxus); Maiden Grass (Miscanthus); Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia); Juniper (Juniperus); Coneflower (Echinacea).