garden tips

Lilac Syringa ‘Josee’

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Posted By John Pearson

Never more than 6 feet high and wide, it’s perfect for today’s smaller gardens!
Lilac blossoms in August It could happen with this reblooming wonder. Josee is a dwarf Lilac with a flower-happy nature that just doesn’t quit. Very resistant to mildew, it thrives even in the sultry climates of zone 8, and farther north it reliably sets blooms all summer and fall, long after most Lilacs have given it up for the year.The most brilliant display is in late spring and early summer, when this little 4- to 6-foot-tall tree just erupts into pinkish-lavender blossom.
The fragrance is heavenly, as hundreds upon thousands of tiny tube-shaped blossoms, grouped into showy 3- to 4-inch clusters, release the scent that means “”springtime”\” to many lucky gardeners. Cut all you want for the house, and deadhead the rest promptly, which will give Josee the signal that you’re ready for some reblooms, please. She won’t disappoint you, setting flowers even when other trees around her are getting their fall foliage color!Josee’s dwarf size also means that you can grow her in a container on the urban balcony, pint-sized deck, or smallest garden. Give her full sun and enriched, well-drained soil, keep her adequately watered during dry spells, and this tiny Lilac will repay you with more blossoms than you could have dreamed of! She spreads 5 to 6 feet wide, making a showstopping fragrant hedge, accent planting, or specimen in any sunny spot.
Lilacs do not fare well in the short, warm, moist spring weather of the deep south, but Josee outshines most others, blooming reliably through zone 8. You probably won’t get summer reblooms in hot climates, but she may have a surprise for you in the cooler fall months! Superbly mildew-resistant, this is one of the few Lilacs that can withstand the warm, moist nights of southern and midwestern climates.In a mixed planting, set Josee among long-bloomers such as Daylilies and dependable performers such as Blue Plumbago.

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