Potted Dwarf Korean Lilac Tree: How To Grow Syringa Meyeri In Containers

Pink-White Syringa Meyeri Lilac Tree
(Image credit: Egeris)

Anyone considering bringing a potted plant into the garden should consider a dwarf Korean lilac tree. This small deciduous shrub grows happily in a container and offers rewards! Its pale lavender-purple flowers start blooming in late spring and fill the garden with fragrance. If you’ve thought about growing a lilac tree in a pot, this is the one for you.

For more information about potted lilac, including tips on how to care for dwarf Korean lilac, read on.

Growing Potted Lilac

Growing a lilac tree in a pot works well in many circumstances, particularly if the lilac tree you choose is a dwarf Korean lilac tree (Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’). This compact shrub tops out at 4 feet (1 m.) with a somewhat larger spread. It grows well in large containers and is hardy to USDA hardiness zone 3.

The little Korean lilac tree offers masses of super-fragrant lilac flowers. At their peak, the blossoms almost completely cover the tree’s branches, creating a stunning floral display that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. While the biggest bloom occurs in mid-May, the shrub will sometimes bloom a second time in late summer. Foliage is dark green, providing a nice contrast to the flowers.

Korean Lilac Tree Care

If you are wondering how to care for dwarf Korean lilac trees in pots, we’re here to help. Potted lilac trees have a few cultural conditions that are mandatory but are otherwise easy to care for. For example, the trees never get powdery mildew and are not troubled by many pests or diseases. However, like many other flowering ornamental trees, the dwarf lilac trees require a full sun location since it will not produce flowers in a shady location.

When you are growing lilac in a pot, be careful about the soil you use. It should be well-draining but contain enough organic material to retain moisture. While lilacs can adapt to poor soils or dry ones, the dwarf Korean lilac tree will die in poorly draining soil. 

Korean lilac tree care includes regular watering. You’ll need to water the shrubs at least weekly and twice weekly in extreme heat. Regular irrigation is even more important when the trees are planted in containers.

Potted Lilacs in the Garden

If you are wondering how to use potted dwarf lilac trees in the garden, here are a few things to keep in mind. Unlike regular lilac trees, these plants are short and compact. That makes them perfect for placement under a window or anywhere you want to protect a view. 

These trees also work well in an entranceway or as a specimen shrub. The container lilac is also perfect for placement on smaller patios or sunny front porches. 

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.