Nadezhda Hope LilacSyringa vulgaris 'Nadezhda'
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Syringa vulgaris 'Nadezhda'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Nadezhda Lilac grows into a rounded bush about 8 feet tall and across. In spring it is smothered with very large heads of double sky-blue flowers, opening from deep pink-purple buds. These release a rich perfume which spread across the garden and tells us spring has come at last. This very hardy shrub is especially valuable in colder zones where other plants don’t thrive, and it grows well after the harshest winters, blooming reliably every spring. Its spectacular blue flowers bring a rich and special look to your garden, on an easy to grow plant.
The Nadezhda Lilac is a tough, vigorous bush that grows in urban conditions, average soil, and has drought resistance to ordinary summer dryness. It needs just a simple pruning in late spring, after flowering, to keep it blooming every year and producing fresh new stems for future flowering. It has few pests or diseases and it is easy to grow. Created in Russia before 1970, it is distinct from the traditional French Lilacs, and is more vigorous and easier to grow in poor conditions.
Lilacs are vital spring-blooming shrubs. Nothing comes close to their great beauty, and they come in many colors. If your experience of lilacs is just from the old trees with small purplish flowers found in old gardens, then the hybrid varieties will be a wonderful experience for you. Their huge flowers trusses, double flowers, rich scent, and amazing colors make them queens of the garden, and with blue always a coveted garden color, the stunning blue flowers of the Nadezhda Lilac make this an outstanding variety to grow in your garden – it’s easy.
The Nadezhda Lilac is a compact bush, growing between 6 and 8 feet tall, and almost as wide. The green deciduous leaves are rounded and heart-shaped, with tapering points, and shortly after they emerge in the spring, the flower trusses develop, and your shrub is soon in bloom. The foot-long flower-heads are in pairs at the ends of every branch, and they are packed with many dark, pink-purple buds. Soon they begin to open, revealing superb double blooms, each one with around 8 petals, and they are a wonderful sky-blue, washed with the softest lilac. The two-tone effect of the dark purple buds and the light blue flowers is stunning, and a bush in bloom is simply gorgeous. Blooming lasts for several weeks, creating a magnificent show in your garden. The open flowers release a powerful fragrance, filling your garden with the delicious scents of spring.
Grow the Nadezhda Lilac where it can be fully appreciated, such as by an entrance, or between windows. That will allow the fragrance to drift into your home. Or plant it at the back of a shrub bed, where it will herald the arrival of another season of blooms. Plant a pair on either side of an entrance or grow it as a lawn specimen and use it to fill those awkward corners on your property. It can be grown as an informal screen too, but it cannot be trimmed regularly into a hedge, or most of the blooming will be lost.
The Nadezhda Lilac should be planted in full sun for the most blossoms, but a little partial shade is tolerated well. This plant is very hardy, growing well in zone 3, and possibly even in zone 2, yet it also grows well into zone 8, and of course in all areas in between. It will grow vigorously in most garden soils, both acid and alkaline, and moist to drier soils, although it should be well-drained. Mulching with organic material in spring is all it needs for good growth. For maximum flowering, remove the flower heads at their base as soon as they fade. This encourages bud production for the following year. At the same time, remove a few of the oldest stems close to the bottom of the bush, and shorten newer stems by about one-quarter, to encourage branching and denser growth. Do not trim in summer, as this removes the flower buds which have already developed for the following year. Reduced flowering will be the result. Removing old stems and keeping your plant growing on multiple younger stems also reduces the risk of borer damage. During hot, humid weather in summer a dusty coating may develop on the leaves. This is harmless, and it doesn’t affect the development of your bush, or its health in the following year. Raking up old leaves that falls may reduce the incidence of this powdery mildew disease.
The common lilac, Syringa vulgaris, originally grew as a wild tree in the Balkan peninsula, in mountain regions of what is today Serbia and Croatia. For centuries it was grown in gardens across Europe, and the late 19th century the most famous breeders were the Lemoine family, whose French Lilacs, with double flowers on large trusses, are still grown today. But lilacs also spread east, and behind the Iron Curtain breeding continued, with many Russian lilac breeders. The most famous was Leonid Alekseevich Kolesnikov, who in the 1930s successfully crossed double lilacs – a feat thought impossible. This saw him become the head of a Soviet experimental plant breeding station. He created numerous new lilac varieties, and some of the best arrived in North America via the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, at the height of the Cold War in the 1970s. Among them was a stunning blue, called ‘Nadezhda’, which is Russian for ‘hope’. This is the plant we have found a supply of, and its remarkable back-story only adds to our wish to make it available to our clients. These unique plants are always in high demand, so plant your first lilac, or add this tree to your collection, but in either case, order now, while our limited stock lasts.