Prince Charming LilacSyringa hybrid 'Bailming' (PP# 16,349)
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Syringa hybrid 'Bailming' (PP# 16,349)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Prince Charming® Lilac is a compact deciduous bush growing just 6 feet by 4 feet, with small leaves and dense branching. In mid-May it is smothered in large trusses of many flowers, which are wine-red when in bud and freshly opened, and lavender-pink as they mature. In bloom for several weeks, it fills the air around it with rich spicy perfume. Perfect for foundation planting around your home, growing alone or in groups in shrub beds, or for making an informal hedge or screen, this tough plant is cold-hardy and easy to grow.
The Prince Charming® Lilac is completely hardy even in zone 3, and it blooms profusely with no problems at all. Dead-heading and pruning are not needed. Plant this reliable shrub in full sun in ordinary garden soil, then sit back and watch it grow and bloom. Insects and diseases are normally never an issue, and once established it is self-sufficient and easy to grow.
In colder zones, after the long, hard winter, we pray for flowers, color and the perfumes of the garden. In those tough conditions lilac bushes have always been a vital part of the landscape, exactly because they bloom when the first warmer days arrive, after the uncertainties of a northern spring. They bring gorgeous colors to your garden, and they fill the air with the most delicious and nostalgic of perfumes – the scent of lilac blossoms. They are also, most importantly, reliably hardy, and can be counted on to bloom profusely with only minimal care. It’s hard to imagine gardening in zones 3, 4 and 5 without their beautiful presence. However, older varieties might be lovely, but they also grow large, need careful pruning, easily outgrow the limited space of a smaller garden, and don’t always fit well around the house or by a doorway. These plants have a classic ‘old-fashioned’ beauty your garden needs, and the Fairy Tale® series of smaller lilac bushes, which grow just 5 or 6 feet tall, are appropriately named and perfectly sized to work in every garden. If your garden is a Cinderella in spring, lacking beauty and color, let the Prince Charming® Lilac rescue it, so you can all live happily ever after.
The Prince Charming Lilac is a tough hybrid lilac that forms a rounded bush to 5 or 6 feet tall, and almost as wide, with dense branches right to the ground. In spring its new leaves disappear beneath a profusion of flower clusters which are wine-red in the bud and as they open, turning lavender-pink as they mature, and creating flower spikes with a wonderful two-tone look. The leaves are small and heart-shaped, in keeping with the smaller form of this bush. They are just 1½ inches long, with a smooth, slightly glossy surface, and they are a warm, rich green. After blooming is over the Prince Charming Lilac steps back to become an attractive leafy bush in your garden, discreetly watching the rest of the year go by.
The flowers of the Prince Charming Lilac form in profusion at the ends of all the older branches, and on short side branches too. They are in long, fat cylindrical clusters, 3½ inches long, each one containing 160 to 170 flowers. They make a great showing, opening gradually from the bottom of the cluster, beginning around the middle of May. Each individual flower lasts a week, and with them opening gradually the spikes are attractive for 2 to 4 weeks, with cooler weather sustaining the blooming for the longest time. The buds and the flowers when they first open are a rich and gorgeous wine-red, and the open petals then transform to a pink with lavender overtones. All the while, the blossoms give out a rich, spicy perfume redolent of old times and childhood in grandma’s garden. Nothing could be more beautiful.
Grow the Prince Charming Lilac around your house, in the foundation planting. Place it near a doorway or beside a window, where its smaller size is not going to crowd out the space you have. Plant it alone, or in a group of 3 or 5 bushes in garden beds. Grow a row, spacing them evenly 3 or 4 feet apart, for a wonderful informal hedge or screen, or as a backdrop to a garden bed.
The Prince Charming Lilac is very hardy and very easy to grow. It will grow perfectly in all the coldest zones, from zone 3 to zone 7 – gardeners in warmer zones miss out on its charms. It should be planted in full sun for the most blooms, and it grows well in any ordinary garden conditions, although of course you will see the best growth if you enrich the soil and use some shrub fertilizer in spring. Once established this plant is relatively resistant to ordinary drought, but it will grow best with regular watering, especially when the buds are forming and during flowering. This lilac doesn’t need the more detailed pruning of traditional lilacs, and it can be left to grow freely. It doesn’t produce seed heads, so no dead-heading is needed. If you want to trim it into a very neat form – it is naturally neat to begin with – then do this only immediately after flowering, as trimming at other times will reduce flowering. Pests and diseases are normally not a problem, and this easy plant will soon become a reliable and trouble-free part of your garden landscape.
Neal Holland taught horticulture at North Dakota State University for over 30 years, and operated Sheyenne Gardens nursery, in Harwood, North Dakota. An experienced plant breeder, he felt the selection of small hardy lilacs was limited, so he set to work. In 1976 he crossed together a variety of the Korean lilac, Syringa meyeri `Palibin`, with the Little-leaf Lilac, Syringa pubescens subsp. microphylla ‘Superba`. He collected the seeds and grew a large batch of seedlings. He selected just four of his seedlings, all of them compact bushes, with a range of flower colors. He partnered with Bailey Nurseries, of St Paul, Minnesota, to release these plants as the Fairy Tale® series of hardy dwarf lilacs. The variety he patented in 2006 with the name `Bailming` became the beautiful Prince Charming® Lilac, and it’s the prince of them all. These valuable plants are always in great demand, especially by our northern clients, so don’t wait, order now – our limited stock will soon be gone.