Hate My Miss Kim Lilac

Laurie(6)April 28, 2006

Several years back, we went to our local nursey and purchased several shrubs, including 2 lilacs. I picked out the 2 I wanted however, they delivered the wrong ones. I didn't know this until the next spring when it bloomed and it was evidently NOT what I had picked.

Turns out, it's Miss Kim and I've been sorely disappointed since. Each year I threaten to have my husband removed them. It's not that they are unhealthy, infact, they are very healthy and bloom nicely. But I just don't like their habit at all. The flowers are not what I grew up thinking a lilac should look like. In otherwords, big huge clusters. These are too wimpy, too droopy and the flowers themselves too elongated. However, I do admit they smell devine and this is why I have not removed them yet.

So, which lilac AM I looking for? Just your typical run of the mill heavy bloomer with great fragrence. Can someone suggest a species which would be good for NJ, zone 6? I want it to get HUGE!

And, I'll have my DH replant the Miss Kim's in the rear of the yard somewhere nooffensive :-)

Thanks!

Laurie

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aegis1000

What you want is your garden center/box store supplied Syringa Vulgaris.

If you want someting special (there's scores of varieties of Syringa Vulgaris available) ... check out what's available at www.songsparrow.com.

(see page 8 and 9 of their woodies online catalogue)

I wouldn't recommend that you buy a lilac mail-order, unless you want something special ... but Song Sparrow (which, typically, gives good value for your money) will give you some idea of what's available.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 10:36PM
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susiebuckhouse(6)

AWH! Don't be so mean to Miss Kim! She has a purpose. I don't have room in my garden for a huge lilac, and Miss Kim suits me just fine. I keep her pruned into a nice sculptural shape with well defined lower branches showing off her beautiful legs. Her fragrance wafts from the bottom of my rock garden near the street all the way up to our front porch. Another plus is that when all of the other lilacs on our street have faded, Miss Kim is just starting her show. She has never grown higher than 4 foot, which is perfect for my garden. Perhaps someone near you would dig her up and take her home, don't be a killer.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 7:54AM
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jiggreen(zone 6b, carlisle PA)

i hate my Miss Kim's also!!! i have two of them, and they just don't have the "wow" factor that i associate with lilacs. I also have two Syringa Vulgaris, good old fashioned lilacs that are gorgeous, large shrubs (one is about 8 feet tall, and one is about 10 feet tall). right now they are completely loaded with the most delicious scented blossoms. a couple of years ago i purchased what i thought was a syringa vulgaris and it turned out to be a Preston lilac, but i am still happy with it. it is a much larger shrub than Miss Kim and grows really fast. it seems to bloom at the same time as Miss Kim, which is a bit later than the old fashioned lilacs but i think it is going to be far superior to the Miss Kim when it puts on it's show.

good luck!
jiggreen

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 8:08AM
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Laurie(6)

Thanks everyone. My Miss Kim is a monster for me. It's easily over 6' tall. Like I said, the only good thing is the fragrance.

I'll be looking for "Syringa Vulgaris" specifically for my next purchase! Better yet, I'll take it home w/ME, not leave it to the nursery to deliver!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 12:52PM
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doniki(z5/6 NE Ohio)

I hate Miss Kim too... All the nurseries build it up like it's this wonderful lilac... I don't think it comes close in the scent department that the traditional French Lilac has... Also the color is so blah... Granted it grows well, even in some shade, but it just isn't what I'm used to...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 3:28PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

I think some of the draw to "Miss Kim" is that it has a mounding habit rather than a tall lanky one, which actually allows it to better fit in the landscape as a foundation shrub requiring mimimal pruning when compared to other lilacs. It is a later-blooming lilac than many of the S. vulgaris cultivars and thus helps extend the lilac season for collectors. And for those who live in areas that often have mild spells in winter followed by late spring frosts, having later bloomers helps minimize the risk of flower bud blasts resulting in poor bloom. In addition, the foliage on Miss Kim is a heckava lot better during the summer than many lilacs including the prestons and you get the bonus of a reddish-purple leaf coloration in fall. Plus they are powdery-mildew resistant.

So all in all, IMHO "Miss Kim" does have some benefits as a lilac when compared to the other Syringa species. I do realize that it is heavily pushed but it can have a place in a garden (or on a balcony where mine is...;-)).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 9:12AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Isn't that funny how different people view different plants? My husband and I just yanked out a common lilac from the front yard, planted by a previous owner probably more than 25 yrs ago. If it had been Miss Kim, which is mildew resistant, it would have stayed. But the onslaught of powdery mildew and looking at a bush no longer green, but white, just does absolutely nothing for me. Actually, no lilac does much for me. They bloom, then are green blobs the rest of the season. No berries, no host plant for butterflies...just blah.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 5:39PM
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littledog(z7 OK)

Hi Terry,
I have a strange, devoted little Lilac that blooms spring and fall, and last year rebloomed three times; once early spring, once late summer at the first break of cooler weather signalling the fall, and, because we had such a mild winter, again in late December.

I *think* it might be a Persian Lilac; not sure, as the original plant was mature-to-the-point-of-dying at a rent house we moved to 18 years ago. It had been "pruned" horribly, probably 3/4 of the bush had been whacked to the ground, and it was killing itself sending up hundreds of shoots. For five years, I would dig them up, plant them in pots, and give them to everyone who came to visit. Eventually, the original plant exhausted itself and died, and I was down to two young rooted plants. I brought one with me here, and left the other for the new owners of the former rental. (I shouldn't have bothered, as they pulled up *every* blooming plant and replaced them with precisely spaced, weedy looking clumps of "ornamental" grass. How terribly modern. Blech!)

At any rate, the little Lilacs I gave everyone else bloom in the spring like they're supposed to, but mine has done this repeat blooming thing for three years now. When she saw the flowers here last December, my MIL, who was raised to do her planting by the Almanac and is in the habit of looking for signs, said "What do you suppose it means?" I told her, "It means it's happy to be here, and it loves me." I was only half joking.

Afterall, it's not everyone who can say they had fresh cut Lilacs on the table at Easter, again at Labor Day and finally on New Year's eve from the same bush...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 7:14PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

littledog, love your story! Isn't that what lilacs do? Send up all the suckers I mean? I have 3-4 (hard to tell because of all the different shoots) out in the far side back of our yard, that never get powdery mildew. Those I don't really mind. Sitting in the backyard this time of year sure does smell good! I just wish mine would rebloom like yours. Maybe I'll go talk nice to those lilacs and see if they won't love me like yours love you!

Terry

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 11:15PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I love my 'Miss Kim' because I have a small yard and she has nice fall foliage color and no mildew. I do not plant much that only looks good for a month a year.

Certainly there is no comparison to traditional "French Lilacs" but 'Miss Kim' is great for those who don't have room for the suckering mildewing monsters that only look good when blooming.

I cut flowers from my neighbors. :)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 12:08PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

Laurie, it depends on personal taste. If you really hate a plant, I mean really HATE Miss Kim hysterically, do the following :
1. uproot her;
2. use a saw, break every branch of her;
3. cut her into pieces
4. (optional) stomp on her;
5. burn and bury the ashes.

That solves the problem in an hour. No more ---ing.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 1:48PM
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kfelske

Can a Miss Kim be moved and, if so, when is the best time?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 3:10PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

[LOL]
shic, I've been lurking and laughing.

I've just done exactly that with several old, spindly, icky insipid lilacs. Actually, a GardenWeb friend dug one up and whisked it away quickly as I bore down on it with my saw.

I felt this way about 'Charles Jolie', who should have been red/purple. Not.

I have 2 'Primrose' that are 3 years old (and maybe a year at the nursery? Maybe 2?) that have yet to bloom. They have One More Year and out they go.

Burn, baby BURN!

Christine

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 4:02PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

kfelske, you don't give a zone or state, only that you live in the US, so it's hard to comment.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 8:16PM
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mrtulin

I'm not thrilled about miss k, but under a row of windows, she works. They don't have prime real estate, they don't block the view, and for two weeks in early summer are a sweet addition.
\ Life's too short and lilacs are too cheap to keep a plant you hate.

If you have access to "craig's list" or want to give away though gardenweb, list it and have em dig it and take it away.

If you can't wait, dig it up pot it and if you remember to water it once in awhile it can live or die quickly or slowly.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 11:51PM
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naturalstuff(Z6 / CT)

Interesting read. I bought Miss Kim Lilac because it was the most scented Lilac they had. Then after a week I had doubts. Everyday I look at it I am not sure if I likeitor hate it.

Its only 3 feet tall and smells the porch nicely BUT it doesn't look like a lilac.

My main reason for a google search was to find out when it blooms. Seems like they are dying already here in CT!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 6:15PM
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kimcoco

I didn't have anything against lilacs - or at least the one I have - until I purchased this house.

First, I don't care for pastels and it's a pastel purple. The color doesn't coordinate with any other plants on my property. The only time it looks nice is early spring, then it blooms, and the blooms die within a week. I spent 1/2 hour or more this weekend cutting the dead blooms off the areas I could reach. And, we always have a mildew problem with ours, so it's definitely not Miss Kim. So this year I trimmed it up so there is only foliage on the upper half. It looks good, more like a tree form than a shrub now, but honestly, the only reason we haven't dug it up yet - or several reasons I should say - is because it gives us privacy from our neighbors on our small lot, and because my hubby is dreading trying to dig it out.

Maybe next year...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 1:44AM
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