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Dwarf Korean Lilac

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  • January 5, 2015
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Syringa meyeri ‘Palabin’

This has been my favourite shrub for the past several years.  It is bomb-proof unless you consciously abuse it.  It is extremely tough, makes it through the worst winters without significant die-back, can withstand an assault by mice and voles (winter of 2013-14), and flourishes with minimal care.  Dwarf Korean Lilac is also a beautiful shrub for any garden, with small, graceful foliage, and highly fragrant purple blossoms in mid-summer.  It also makes a nice hedge, either formal or informal.  I cannot recommend this plant enough.


Full sun

Pruning Time

Mid-summer, after flowering

Pruning & Shaping

A hedge of dwarf Korean lilac in Red Deer. S. LePage photo.

None required.  However, these shrubs make excellent formal hedges and “cloud” topiary.  I consider dwarf Korean lilac to be the best deciduous species for topiary in Alberta.  Shear all but 1-2 inches of the current year’s growth, after flowering.  Make formal shapes or follow the natural lines within the plant to make more “organic” topiary.  Plant in groups and shear to make “cloud” forms.