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Everybody loves Old-Fashioned Lilacs. That fragrance brings us right back to Grandma’s porch. But Old-Fashioned Lilacs get to be big and bulky in time, and not everyone has the space for them. For smaller properties, Miss Kim Lilac may be the perfect alternative. This deliciously sweet-smelling Lilac can be easily kept to a manageable size. Part of our Watercolor program, it features bunches of cool lavender-blue blossoms that fade to nearly white. They open a few weeks after the Old-Fashioned Lilacs. Miss Kim grows dense and full with little pruning, making it an ideal component in a low hedge, mixed border, or foundation planting.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Elwyn Meader dedicated his life to giving the world useful new plants. He studied at the University of New Hampshire and at Rutgers; he would later return to New Hampshire to teach. He also served in the Army in Seoul from 1946 to 1948, though his role was a purely peaceful, horticultural one, as he was a devout Quaker. In all, Meader introduced 60 new plants through his breeding work, most of them edibles like the luscious Fallgold Raspberry and the Reliance Peach. He is best known, however, for the Miss Kim Lilac. He collected seeds for it when he was in Korea and introduced it in 1958.
Old-Fashioned Lilacs are glorious in spring, but in summer many don’t look so hot. They tend to get powdery mildew on their leaves. Miss Kim’s leaves, on the other hand, are quite resistant to mildew. They may also take on pretty burgundy tones in fall, which is a nice bonus.
How to Grow
Growing Miss Kim Lilac is simple. Give it a position in full sun for the most flower power and densest foliage. It isn’t too fussy about soil, but it must drain well. Provide regular irrigation (once a week if no rain falls), and feed in the spring with Bower & Branch Elements™ Fertilizer. Prune immediately after blooming has ended if necessary. Few pests or diseases trouble Miss Kim, but like nearly all Lilacs, it prefers cold climates and performs much better in the North than in the South. In hot, humid climates, the foliage may curl or scorch in summer, and it may drop some leaves early.
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