Lilac Companion Plants – What To Plant With Lilac Bushes

lilac companions
lilac companions
(Image credit: aga7ta)

Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) are striking specimen plants with their early blooming, lacy blossoms that exude a sweet perfume. You’ll find cultivars with blue, pink, purple, and other colorful blossoms. However lovely the flowers are, the shrub’s short blooming season can be disappointing. A careful selection of lilac bush companions in the garden can help fill the gap. For tips on what to plant with lilac bushes, read on.

Lilac Companion Plants

If you are wondering what to plant with lilac bushes, you may be surprised at the large selection of lilac companion plants. Companion plants for lilac bushes are plants that either look good near lilacs or else complement the lilacs in some way. When it comes to companion planting with lilacs, spring-flowering bulbs are among the top choices for many gardeners. They make a natural choice to plant as companion plants for lilac bushes because they bloom at the same time. You’ll find many attractive spring bulbs to fill up the area near your lilac bush as lilac companion plants. Bulb plants like daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinth, and peonies multiply and naturalize. Plant enough of them and you’ll never weed in the area again.

Additional Lilac Bush Companions

Are you wondering what to plant with lilac bushes to extend the floriation? You can use other lilac bushes to great advantage. While in yesteryear, all lilacs bloomed in spring, these days you can find cultivars that bloom at different periods. Pick shrubs that blossom at different times so that you can have several months of lilacs instead of only several weeks. Alternatively, you can select other flowering shrubs or small trees. Weigela works well, but so do the following:

Placed beside each other in your backyard, they make a fabulous spring display. For more adventurous companion planting with lilacs, allow your lilac tree to serve as a trellis for light vines. If you plant a lightweight vine like clematis, it can scale your lilac without hurting it. The great advantage is that clematis blooms after a spring-flowering lilac is already done. Lilac bushes also make good trellises for passionflower vines, like maypop. Maypop also blooms after the lilac blossoms have faded—large, fringed flowers—and, later, grows attractive, edible fruit.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.