Lilacs prefer full sun and should be planted in an area where they will receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Interestingly, lilacs grow better after a cold winter, but throughout the growing season, they enjoy basking in the sun. Like all plants, it‘s possible for lilacs to get too much sun, which is evidenced by curling brown leaves and dry flowers. Similarly, if they are always in the shade, lilac blooms may not open and they may be attacked by fungal diseases. The best option is to make sure they have at least 6 hours of full sun, although 8 hours is ideal.
How Many Hours of Sun Do Lilacs Need?
Lilacs should have a minimum of 6 hours of full sun per day. However, 8 hours or even a little more is not a bad idea. This is because lilacs are sun-loving plants that need a lot of direct light to bloom to their fullest.
- Lilacs should have 6–8 hours of full sun daily.
- To fully bloom, at least 6 hours of direct light is needed.
- Plant your lilacs where you can be sure all sides of the bush will receive sun.
Don’t plant your lilacs in an entirely shady area of your garden. You should also make sure you avoid giving one side of the bush the lion’s share of the light. Try to plant them in an area of your garden that gets full sun all day. This way, all sides of the bush receive full sun at some point. This will encourage a full plant that produces flowers on all sides.
Can Lilacs Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
Lilacs can grow in indirect sunlight, but you may not end up with many blooms. It is always best to make sure they get a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun daily. Too often, indirect sunlight results in shrubby lilacs that don’t grow many flower buds or produce any fragrant flowers.
- Lilacs can grow in indirect sunlight, but blooms may be lackluster.
- Plant them where indirect light will reach them from morning until night, if full sun is not possible.
If you do choose to grow them in an area where they only receive indirect sunlight, try to make sure it is where they’ll get light from morning until night. If you combine indirect sunlight with full shade, your lilac plant will truly struggle.
Can Lilacs Grow in Shade?
Lilac bushes will grow in the shade, but the flower blooms themselves probably won’t open, and the bushes will “grow wild.” This essentially means that they will grow out in odd directions and become leggy in their search for full sun. This will result in misshapen bushes that feature few or no blooms, which is likely opposite to your overall goal for these lovely flowers.
- Lilac bushes can grow in the shade.
- Lilacs grown in the shade probably won’t produce blooms.
- Fungal diseases or damage from mold may occur if your lilacs don’t receive any sun.
- Avoid planting lilacs in the shade for the best growing results.
If they are grown in the shade, all lilac varieties are susceptible to powdery mildew. Additionally, the leaves may suffer from fungal diseases or damage from mold spores. There is also a chance that lilac flowers will be far less fragrant if the plants do not receive adequate sun. So, do everything possible to avoid planting your lilacs in shady areas of your garden or in areas that don’t receive any full sun. After all, fragrant blooms are one of the top reasons to plant lilacs in your garden.
What Happens if Lilacs Don’t Get Enough Sun?
If your lilacs don’t get enough sun, they may fail to bloom. Of course, this is something you want to avoid. Although the bushes themselves will survive without full sun, the blooms that you waited all year for will likely never appear.
- Lilacs that are sun-deprived often fail to bloom.
- If they do bloom, sun-deprived lilacs produce fewer flowers.
- The blooms of shaded lilacs may open in an erratic pattern.
You may get fewer flowers from lilacs grown without direct sunlight. Even if your lilac bushes produce buds, those buds probably won’t open. You may notice, too, that some stems produce a partially blooming flower, which creates a rather strange-looking plant. This is because lilacs are made up of many tiny blooms, and if some open and some don’t, they won’t have the beautiful appearance they are known for.
Can Lilacs Get Too Much Sun?
Lilacs, like all flowers, can suffer from too much sun. This is especially true if you live in a very hot climate, where temperatures surge in the afternoon. The biggest sign of sun scorch is dark brown edges on the leaves, and yellowing of the flowers.
- Lilacs can be burned by excessive sun.
- The symptoms of sun scorch include yellowing or drying of the flowers and dark brown spots on the leaves.
- Protect sun-damaged lilacs with this row cover.
- A scorched lilac needs afternoon shade to grow new green leaves and become healthy again.
If lilac buds feel crinkly or parchment-like to the touch—even if their color is still good—it’s a sign that they’re getting too much sun. If you notice these symptoms, provide afternoon shade and give your plants some extra water. They should bounce back to life in a few days if the damage was not severe.
How Much Sun Do Lilacs Require?
When planning where to plant lilacs, follow these tips:
- Lilacs need 6–8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
- If you grow lilacs in indirect light, they will require all-day sun for optimal growth.
- Without enough sun, lilacs will not produce flowers.
- Shaded lilacs are also at risk of plant diseases.
- In extremely high temperatures, lilacs can be scorched by the sun.
- Cover scorched lilacs with a row cover in the afternoon to help them recover.
If you plant lilacs in an area where all sides of the plant receive sun, you will be amazed by the sheer number of blooms they produce. Not only that, but sunny conditions mean you won’t have to worry about powdery mildew or other diseases attacking your beautiful lilacs.