ditch that Bloomerang?

rouge21_gw(5)December 26, 2011

This past summer was the third summer for my lilac Bloomerang and for 2012 I am contemplating getting rid of it. Maybe my expectations were too high but I had envisioned that it would give more flowers for a longer time through the summer. It is true this past year was the best with flushes of blooms here and there from spring till fall but never is there a time when one is bowled over by the display...always just enough blooms to keep me from getting rid of it sooner ;).

What has your experience been with this 'ever blooming' lilac?

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same as yours - I often wondered if the advertised reblooming characteristics only occur with containerize plants getting abundant supplies of moisture and occasional fertilization.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:06AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


so you buy the thing.. it takes 2 years to get established..

the third year it actually does what it says ...

but not good enough for you???

whats that all about.. ???

a plant must get FULLY ESTABLISHED.. to perform to specs ..

i suggest that you give it another year or two ...

UNLESS.. space is at such a premium.. that you just cant stand the failure ...

send it to me .. lol .. i have enough space to plant it.. and forget about it for 5 years.. until one day it goes ape-carp ... and knocks my socks off ...

i have a reblooming daphne .. kinda cracks me up.. with its second flush of flowers.. 6 tiny groups of flowers ... compared to being covered with bloom in spring ... but its still a whiff of spring i would not otherwise get in fall ... and that is really the zen key.. did you enjoy the whiff of spring, later in summer ... or were you so p.o.'d that you wouldnt even bend over.. lol ...

shovel prune it if it irritates you too much.. life is too short ...


    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Yikes Ken! Do you have the same lilac? Unless you do you are way too presumptuous applying the 3 season rule too all plants.

I posted in this sub-forum hoping to get replies from others with the same plant so that I could see if my observations were the norm. mrgpag sees the same as I. Hopefully others with "Bloomerang" will post.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 11:23AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i have palliban ... and i have had it for 4 years.. and it finally bloomed ...

i guess i have patience..

but again .. in my prior life in suburbia.. on a restricted sized lot.. i truly understand the need to perform or be deleted ..

now.. on 5 acres.. i plant it.. and it will attract my attention within the next 10 years ... if it doesnt die of neglect .. lol ..

so my suggestion to do whatever makes you happy .. is regardless of the exact cultivar ... if its going to irritate you every time you look at it.. be done with it ...

that and i was pulling your leg a bit... which i though was OK from prior posting.. but if i offended you .. i apologize ...


    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 7:42PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Ken, I think your 3-year suggestion was spot-on. Unless Rouge's plant was really large to start with and had an above-spec rootball, I wouldn't expect it to perform anywhere near it's best before three or four years, either. One might be able to get a good idea of future performance by the third year, but I read your post as anything but presumptuous.

I have seen others with similar concerns (as Rouge) with this cultivar. I have also seen a few suggest that performance improves, to some degree, as the plant matures.

More information, like how large the plant is, if it's been pruned, when it has been pruned, what site conditions are like, pictures, etc might help establish a basis for further evaluation.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 9:21PM
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[Stupid site that one is unable to edit one's posts.]

Anyways I did 'speak' too soon in my most recent response.

Ken, I do agree that as a rule of thumb three years is a (more than) reasonable time for perennials and shrubs to deliver on their glossy flyer description. Well I have had this highly touted cultivar in the ground for 3 complete growing seasons and although it has remained healthy in that time it has not delivered on what was 'promised'when it first came to market. In fact I know that the description of the Bloomerang has been 'altered' since my acquisition of it in March 2009. At that time it was touted as ever blooming i.e. profuse flowers from spring till fall. Well real world experience have forced a dumbing down of such expectations and now it is said to lesser flushes of blooms throughout the year.

The intention of my original post Ken was to hopefully illicit responses from others having this same shrub in their gardens. I am interested in their observations of their Bloomerang. And yet you don't even have this plant...not that you can't contribute to the discussion as I know from these forums you have tons to offer less experienced gardeners like myself but Ken surely with some reflection you can see that it isn't obvious from your first response as "pulling ones leg" when your post has:

but not good enough for you???

whats that all about.. ???

I know now that it wasn't your intention but such lines set-up your post so being too flippant almost mean spirited; just my opinion.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 7:23AM
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Rouge21 said: "as a rule of thumb three years is a (more than) reasonable time for perennials and shrubs to deliver on their glossy flyer description."

In my view, three years is a reasonable time for evaluating perennials, but not shrubs. I think the way shrubs are presented commercially with many blooms on relatively small plants has raised our expectations unreasonably. In my experience, shrubs take considerably longer than perennials to reach their potential, particularly the slower growing woody plants, of which lilacs are one. They need to grow roots and then achieve a large enough size above ground to provide the energy to support flowers as well as woody and leafy growth. The fact that you are starting to get blooms through the summer is good, and can only get better from here. I might start considering the value of a plant after 5-7 years, but since this cultivar has only been available commercially for 3 seasons, I'd counsel patience. I also might be checking that its current culture is giving it what it needs, especially as it is still a young plant: full sun, prompt removal of any spent blooms, even (but not too much) moisture, organic soil that isn't too far off neutral.

While I don't grow this cultivar of Korean lilac, I do think that you are expecting too much at this point of most woody plants. As Ken said, if space is at a premium and it is driving you crazy just to have it there, then remove it, but you will then be starting over with new plants and waiting another several years. If you can stand waiting a couple more years you may find that your lilac rewards you more. However, in my experience most reblooming plants do take pauses while they form new buds or their secondary blooming is somewhat less full than the initial one.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 8:13AM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

I grow Bloomarang on a property that I work on, the homeowner insisted on getting several. I would toss it if I had my way; just not a great plant. I just do not think lilacs are a pretty enough plant to deserve much garden space especially if the space is limited. I have plenty of room on my property but my only two lilacs are behind my greenhouse. When they bloom their fragrance fills the air and I bring armloads of them into the house, after that I do not see them, which is fine by me.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 9:42AM
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The initial appeal of the Bloomerang cultivar is its advertised 'ever blooming' habit and its much more compact size. But it seems reasonably clear that 'ever blooming' is at worst false advertising and w/o the 'ever blooming' feature then the compact nature is of little value.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 11:25AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"I just do not think lilacs are a pretty enough plant to deserve much garden space..."


    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 12:56PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

"I just do not think lilacs are a pretty enough plant to deserve much garden space..."

I totally agree, but then again, I live in a land of broadleaved evergreens with acidic soil.
Lilacs are good only when they bloom. I can see why rouge21 is disappointed.
When they are not blooming, they don't have much to offer. No Fall color. Branching pattern in Winter is nothing to brag about. They sucker and are subject to a leaf roller pest here. In my climate with acid soil, they don't do as well as they do in other areas of the country. On ten acres, I have devoted room for one. 'Miss Kim', and it's still in a pot after five years.
Rouge21, give it some time, it may get better.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 7:54AM
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I would imagine that it isn't usual these days to have one plant a 'traditional' lilac in a residential garden in that most new homes don't have the space to accommodate such a potentially large shrub which gives pay back only a couple of weeks each spring. And of course this was the impetus for the development of the much more compact, more floriferous "Bloomerang" cultivar.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 9:34AM
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My thinking with Bloomerang is that it might be nice to have enough flowers to bring inside for a bouquet even if it wasn't actually showy all summer long. If you like the fragrance Rouge, I would hang onto it just for that reason - and to see if it gets better with time.

I don't think there are going to be many people on this forum that have had one for more than three years to comment on how well they do after they mature. We're counting on you to let us know next year. : ) I had it on my wish list.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 10:54AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I don't know that there is any shrub that is particularly more beautiful, overall, than a lilac. I'm not saying that lilacs are the most beautiful, but, if they match your landscape, they can be quite spectacular. Some might prefer astroturf with no shrubs whatsoever, but most of us that are able to grow lilacs appreciate them for what they have to offer. They are one of the most popular types of shrubs on the market for a reason. I would personally question the horticultural abilities or aesthetic preferences or someone that thought lilacs were too ugly to deserve garden space, in general. Lilacs might not be something that every gardener should have, but then no plant (even grass) fits that description.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 12:07PM
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brandon7 wrote:

I would personally question the horticultural abilities or aesthetic preferences or someone that thought lilacs were too ugly to deserve garden space,

Of course someone who says as much really means that it it too ugly for all but those 2 weeks when it blossoms. And likely that same person also can't afford the limited garden space (that many of us have) to accommodate a traditional lilac.

For all but a few of us it is always a trade-off i.e garden space vs plant size.

I just love the copper beech tree; I am in awe of this plant but alas I shall never be able to have one on my property....sigh.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 2:27PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Me too, rouge! That's the one tree that I think is so magnificent and I simply don't have the real estate for it. Perhaps when I'm older and decide to simplify...I'll dig up EVERYTHING else and plant it in the middle of the yard! :D

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 4:43PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Wow Brandon you sure are passionate about your Lilacs! So instead of using a bunch of letters "ROFLMBO" and insulting my" horticultural abilities and aesthetic preferences" because I disagree with you over one plant genus please explain to me all the virtues of the genus Syringa especially S vulgaris .Is it the mildew it is covered in unless you are willing to spray? Is it the borers that Lilacs get in late summer? Is it their uninteresting foliage that makes you defend the plant? Is it the very large size lilacs get which many people do not have room for on their small properties? Is it the lack of any fall or winter interest that makes you consider me a horticultural moron? Yes we all are in love with Lilacs when they bloom for 2 to 3 weeks of the year but I try to have plants in my gardens that look good for more than 1/26th of the year.
"I don't know that there is any shrub that is particularly more beautiful, overall, than a lilac" but you write nothing about why you think lilacs are so beautiful.
Please enlighten me with your great horticultural abilities and superior aesthetic preferences By the way I make a good living as a professional gardener so you may consider me a horticultural idiot with bad taste but there are many people in my area that do not.

Here is what Michael Dirr says about your beloved Lilac "it is unfortunate that such a treasured shrub with such wondefully fragrant flowers have so many flaws."
Qustion: Is "not pretty enough" the same as "too ugly"?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 9:33AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


A better way to approach the discussion might be to examine why you seem to have such disdain for lilacs. The simple fact that they are one of the most popular shrubs out there seems to indicate that many people consider them a highly valuable part of their landscape. Their long-lasting durability in the landscape, well recognized value for fauna, profusion of beautiful flowers, and lovely scent should surely count for something.

Do you really think all lilacs are continually plagued by powdery mildew? Why do you ignore the smaller, more compact types available for smaller gardens? Are all the other deciduous plants, lacking some special fall and winter interest, undeserving of garden space and only worthy of being tossed?

I think the main reason I expressed my amusement at your original comments is because of the way you seem to cling to the extremes. From my prospective, focusing only on the negatives of any popular type of plant, especially one as well behaved as the lilac, doesn't make any more sense than thinking someone that disagrees with such an approach should automatically assume you are a moron or idiot. One thing I can say for your approach is that you sure have a flair for the dramatics!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 3:01PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

I am just messing with you. I feel like I hit a nerve with you and lilacs... sorry I did not mean to hurt your feelings. I do not have a "didain for lilacs" Remember in my first post I said I have 2 of them on my property and I love them when they are in bloom. Please explain to me how you feel in my first post I was "clinging to extremes". I try to find the good in plants and people. I do not "only focus on the negatives of any popular plant" my first post gives no indication of that premise. First you wrote ROFLMBO and then you wrote:
"I would personally question the horticultural abilities or aesthetic preferences of someone that thought lilacs were too ugly to deserve garden space," OUCH! I feel your response to my statement was a bit extreme and not very nice... enough said.
You are a big fan of lilacs so give me your thoughts on smaller Lilacs that you feel are worthy of garden space. One Lilac I am curious about is S oblata var. dilatata, early lilac It is a big one but it is not prone to mildew, a big problem in humid VA, and it looks like it may have nice fall foliage, does anyone have personal experience with this species?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 7:47PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I think you misunderstood my statements (or thoughts behind them) as much as you think I misunderstood yours. Yes, I like lilacs, but certainly wouldn't consider it a passion. I have a small collection of them, but they are definitely not a focus plant for me. I'd probably be even less "attached" to them if they were as common in my area as they are in more northerly regions. That said, I wouldn't consider them something that are only worthy of being tossed or something that was too ugly to deserve garden space. Take a look at Ken's thread where he shows off his lilacs. How can plants that look like that, even if for only a brief time, be so undeserving. They don't have to be a focus plant to be useful in a landscape. When I hear someone completely (or nearly so) discount the usefulness of such a plant, I believe it's likely because they either aren't familiar with the plant/available varieties/ways to use it/etc, or they aren't seeing the same beauty I see. It's not a matter of being un-nice, it's a matter of thinking that either a lack of observation or a lack of familiarity (or combination of both) is probably the cause of the broad dismissal.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 8:17PM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

Brandon It is not a lack of familiarity or observation of lilacs that made me post my first statement. I grew up in Maine where lilacs are on everyones property. My parents had at least 20 different lilacs growing on their side yard. It is my observation and famitiarty that leads me to make the statement I made in my first post. I feel maybe I judged too quickly the lilac Bloomarang, being that I have only observed that plant in the ground for less than two seasons; so far it is not looking very promising but I plan to leave it be and see how it does. Kens pictures are beautiful, Ken lives in a cooler climate where lilacs thrive. It is a picture of lilacs in full bloom what could be more lovely? I doubt Ken will be posting pictures of his lilacs in August, October or January. Here is the first statement I made "I just do not think lilacs are a pretty enough plant to deserve much garden space especially if the space is limited." Like I said in that post I have two lilacs, they are not a focus plant for me either but obviously I am not "completely dicounting(or nearly so)" their usefulness. But flawed they are, and if someone only has room for a few plants on their property, it is not the genus I would point them toward. With that said, if one of my clients wants lilacs they get lilacs I do not try to discourage people from them as I do a plant like burning bush which is trying to take over the world. This spring we will be moving 8 or 9 large lilacs away from this one clients house, she had a nostalgic connection to S. vulgaris; now she feels as I do; put them away from the house enjoy their blooms and then forget about them. I should point out that I treat my lilacs and clients lilacs with as much respect as I do other plants that I love more, I feed them, prune them, mulch them, and water them when needed. I could have made the same observations about you that you had towards me, that your lack of observation or lack of familiarity or questionable esthetic preferences or questionable horticultural abilities is what makes you believe lilacs deserve "much" ( the opposite of my "not much") garden space. But I do not believe that, I believe your opinion and taste in plants is just as valid as mine; though I may try to get you to defend those opinions from time to time. That is the fun part of connecting with other gardeners.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 10:08AM
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I grow Josee lilac and am very happy with this shrub. Somehow I'm not too fond of plants that bloom outside their natural cycle. For the same reason I don't grow "Endless Summer" hydrangea. Josee blooms intermittently and after flowering remove spent blooms and it comes back.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 4:49PM
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So? How's the lilac now, rouge? I came upon this thread looking for info on the bloomerang as I am interested in planting one. Now I need to know what you think since it's been 4 or 5 years. Do tell!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 3:51PM
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sireneh, I still have it. It blooms profusely in the spring as expected and there are a few (much) lesser flushes after that. I have included a picture from this past spring as it was starting to bloom.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 1:25AM
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Good to know. Thanks for the pic!

Would you say overall you are satisfied with it?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 1:53AM
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Mine would be more...impressive if I allowed it to grow to its fullest. Although it may well be much less large than a traditional lilac it can grow larger than I want. Because of this I do need to selectively trim branches to keep it in its too small location. But having said that I am keeping it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 6:38AM
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Personally, I'm not a real big fan of lilacs. When I was growing up, my parents had four of them behind their house for erosion control. The blooms looked and smelled wonderful, but other than when in bloom there was nothing spectacular about them.
However, I do remember that I really enjoyed using them as a playground for my G.I. Joe and Transformer toys. lol

Just remember, you grow plants for your benefit, not the plant's benefit. So if you don't like the way a particular plant is growing, compost itâ¦or give it to ken.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 2:20PM
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I was looking for info on the Bloomerang Lilac and stumbled on this post. I live in the Dallas, Tx area and lilacs certainly aren't common here. I don't think I'd ever seen one before I noticed the Bloomerang's in the nurseries. I bought a tiny one last year and planted it in full sun, as the tag said to do. While it didn't grow any (and I mean not at all), and it didn't bloom a single flower, it looked healthy and showed no signs of distress. I wondered if it couldn't handle our 100+ degree summer days here so I moved it to a more shady spot. I'd guess that it now gets 2-3 hours of sun a day. I saw this plant for the first time in a year today (we moved shortly after I transplanted it so I don't live in this house anymore) and it looks great!! It is about 3 feet tall and wide. It had a couple of blooms on it but I don't think it is supposed to bloom in this heat, but I'm not sure about that. I have no idea if it bloomed in the spring or not. I thought the bush was really pretty and I now want to find a place in my new house for one. I'd be willing to keep it simply because I don't see them in every single other year in my neighborhood.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Offered in bloom in one gallon pots in my area. Typical of the type the individual flowers are small and the fragrance is not on par with that of Syringa vulgaris cultivars. Like the many other small-flowered, small-growing lilacs of the same ilk that have been grown and sold for years it is a different bird than common lilac, with a different kind of appeal.

Summer season of larger lilacs has been dealt with in mixed border design before by growing large-flowered clematis on them.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Here is this same bloomerang as of today. Obviously not laden with flowers as it is in the spring but still enough lilac color generating some garden talk given that it is now approaching mid September.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Fri, Sep 13, 13 at 7:35

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 4:39PM
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Pretty garden you have there.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 6:48PM
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