Crimson Doll™ Lilac

Syringa hybrid 'Grecrimdoll'

Crimson Doll™ Lilac

Syringa hybrid 'Grecrimdoll'


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Crimson Doll™ Lilac is a rounded deciduous shrub growing to 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It has attractive heart-shaped leaves and in spring it is smothered in huge clusters of colorful and fragrant blooms. The buds are rosy-red, opening to a bright reddish-pink, and becoming a bright and lighter pink as they mature. This wonderful bush is easy to grow and very cold-resistant, suitable for planting around your home, in garden beds, as a hedge, or in semi-natural areas.

  • Clusters of rosy-red buds open to reddish-pink flowers
  • Compact bush no more than 5 feet tall
  • Richly perfume drifts across your garden
  • Reliable and disease resistant in summer heat
  • Ideal shrub for colder zones

The Crimson Doll™ Lilac will grow best in full sun, but an hour or two of shade each day won’t be a problem. It blooms well in all the coldest parts of the country, and it handles hot summers very well. It grows strongly in any well-drained soil, including alkaline soils, clay, and rough urban ground. Pests or diseases are rarely a problem with this healthy and vigorous bush, and removing the finished bloom-heads is all the care needed.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-7
Mature Width 4-6
Mature Height 3-5
Sun Needs Full Sun
Zones 4-7

For gardeners in all the cooler parts of the country, including the Midwest, Lilacs are a big feature of the spring garden. Their big clusters of blooms, like floral cones, their rich perfume, and their unique colors – all these bring joy to your heart after the hardships of a long, cold winter. Today, though, we often have small gardens – and even big gardens have small spaces – where the classic lilac bush, reaching 10 or 20 feet tall fairly rapidly, is out of the question. Yes, there are small ‘lilacs’, but they often also have small, often scentless, flowers. These are popular and valuable garden shrubs, but they aren’t the real deal. Now, with the Crimson Doll™ Lilac, you have gorgeous, big lilac blooms complete with that rich and evocative scent, but on a bush that is no more than 5 feet tall, and will easily grow in a smaller garden without taking over, or grow in spots where you don’t want a lot of height. Plus, this variety will often produce extra blooms during summer, giving you a wonderful scented bonus. The foliage is glossy and attractive, and the large flower clusters begin with colorful rosy-red buds opening to rich reddish pink flowers, which then fade gracefully to a beautiful softer pink – a truly lovely combination of color tones. Easy to grow, cold resistant, and resistant to summer heat as well, this new variety is sure to please even the most choosy lover of lilacs.

Growing the Crimson Doll™ Lilac

Size and Appearance

The Crimson Doll™ Lilac is a rounded evergreen shrub that grows moderately quickly into a bush between 3 and 5 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide. It stays bushy to the ground, without developing major trunks, and it is much lower than other lilacs that have traditional large flower clusters. The heart-shaped leaves are 2 or 3 inches long, with a pointed tip and smooth, mid-green surface. The clean foliage keeps this plant attractive even when it isn’t in bloom.

As soon as the new leaves develop in spring you will see the flowers, developing at the end of each branch. These quickly grow into broad pyramids of many tight buds, 4 to 5 inches long, which are a deep and wonderful crimson, with rosy overtones. The buds soon open, from the base of the cluster upwards, into 4-petalled flowers with a lighter shade inside – a beautiful red-toned pink. As the flowers open wide and the bush reaches its full glory, they become a beautiful softer pink, making a wonderful bright show in your garden. From the moment the first blooms open they give out their wonderful lilac scent, that spreads across the garden and drifts through windows.

Using the Crimson Doll™ Lilac in Your Garden

With its more compact height, this bush is perfect for planting around your home, perhaps beside or beneath a window, where the perfume can drift indoors. Plant it by a door for a lovely greeting. Grow it in your shrub beds for great spring color, or as a low screen or informal hedge along a fence or boundary. Fill a corner with it, or plant it on the sunny side of a natural part of your garden. There is always room for a lilac bush like this in every garden.


The great thing about lilacs is how reliable they are even in very cold areas. This bush is fully hardy in zone 4, and we suspect in zone 3 as well, and it will grow right into zone 7. This variety was selected for its resistance to summer heat, so it is ideal in the Midwest, or in any area with cold winters and hot summers.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Full sun always gives the best results and the most blooms with lilacs, and the Crimson Doll Lilac is no exception, but it will tolerate a couple of hours of shade a day just fine. It will grow well in almost any soil, enjoying alkaline soils and stony ground as well as clay soils. Don’t plant in wet areas, as good drainage is the only essential for good growth.

Maintenance and Pruning

Although very drought and heat resistant, you will see the best results from your Crimson Doll Lilac if you mulch around it each spring with some rich organic material, like garden compost or rotted manure. This will preserve moisture in the soil, and just as importantly, provide nutrients. You can also feed with fertilizer for flowering shrubs, which we recommend if you are growing it in poor soils. This bush was selected for its resistance to diseases, and pests are usually rare too – you will enjoy a clean, healthy bush all year round. Remove the spent flower heads as soon as blooming is over. This diverts the bush’s energy into buds for next year, instead of wasting it on seed-making. Pruning is generally not needed, and don’t trim new growth in early spring or during the summer, as this will reduce or prevent flowering.

History and Origin of the Crimson Doll™ Lilac

There are many different species of lilacs around the world. In 1980 Max Peterson of Ogallala Lilacs in Meadowlark Hill, Nebraska came across a seedling lilac in his nursery. It was growing near a bush of a variety of Chinese lilac called Syringa pubescens subsp. julianae ‘Hers’, but it didn’t look the same. Nearby was another Chinese lilac called Syringa meyeri. It seemed his new plant was a hybrid, and he named it ‘Red Pixie’. This century, the Greenleaf Nursery Company were growing plants of ‘Red Pixie’ at their Oklahoma nursery. They found a plant among them which was more heat resistant and disease resistant than ‘Red Pixie’, and so was a significant improvement. They named it ‘Grecrimdoll’, and released it with the trademark name Crimson Doll™ as part of their Garden Debut® collection of new, valuable garden plants.

Buying the Crimson Doll™ Lilac at the Tree Center

We love the Crimson Doll Lilac for bringing us such large blooms on a smaller, compact and tough bush, and we love that rich coloring. Everyone will want it, so order now, because our stock is limited, and it won’t take long for it to sell out completely.

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Crimson Doll™ Lilac

Syringa hybrid 'Grecrimdoll'