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Why Are Reblooming Lilacs Creating Controversy?

Learn how this new lilac can add color and fragrance to your garden for months rather than weeks.

Contributors: Ryan McGrath

It seems like a great idea. But why is there is much controversy about reblooming lilacs?

It started with a high-profile article in Slate Magazine titled “Gilding the Lilac: A new hybrid could kill the nostalgia for these fleeting blooms of spring.” In the article, Slate sounded the alarm about a new lilac with “a promise to bloom from spring on through to the fall, right up until the first frost.”

The controversy then spread to Maclean’s Magazine, a popular Canadian weekly news magazine. In a feature story titled “Ever-blooming Lilac Wars” Maclean’s warned their readers about a “dynamo dwarf shrub upends lilac logic by flowering in early spring, again in summer, then reblooming as the leaves turn―a hybridizing innovation that can be viewed as wondrous or as horrifying.”

The shrub causing all this controversy? Bloomerang Purple, a new reblooming lilac variety from Proven Winners® ColorChoice®.

In contrast to these old-fashioned lilacs, Bloomerang Purple produces a bumper crop of fragrant lavender flowers in spring, and then continues to bloom again from mid- summer until frost. Many gardeners have reported seeing flowers as late as Halloween. Every stem can produce flowers in summer, creating a burst of purple in your garden.

Every new innovation creates controversy, and it appears the gardening world is no different. The critics seem to prefer to enjoy their lilacs just a few weeks a year. They have every right to their opinions. Meanwhile, thousands of home gardeners have fallen in love with enjoying their lilacs all summer with Bloomerang Purple. And isn’t that the beauty having your own home garden? Since it is your garden, you can put in whatever plants you want – innovative and new, or traditional and old-fashioned. As long as gardeners have this amazing freedom of choice and expression, you will continue to see debates and discussions about which plants are best.

You can find Bloomerang Purple for sale in better garden centers in the white Proven Winners container. And to learn more about Bloomerang, visit

Patent Info: Bloomerang® Purple Syringa x 'Penda' PP: 20575 Can. PBRAF

186 Readers Rated This: 12345 (3.3)
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 10/16/2015 - 1:45pm

...and transferred it to a larger outdoor pot right away. I'm on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, just outside of Victoria and it has surpassed my expectations! It took a lot of watering to keep it hydrated, but I've had blooms on it since I bought it 5months or so ago. I'm not sure if I should fertilize in the fall, and when to trim it. Any suggestions? Do I clip off the dead flowers? That will clip the tip of that branch.
So far, I highly recommend this plant, we've loved having it on our patio! Not as fragrant as the spring lilacs, but there still is a scent there you recognize.

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Mon, 10/19/2015 - 1:37pm

Glad you like it! Yes, the scent is different than the common lilac most people think of, but it's still a really nice fragrance. I would not recommend pruning or fertilizing your plant now. The only time you should do any kind of pruning or trimming on the plant is immediately after it flowers in spring. As for fertilizer, I would recommend applying a granular rose fertilizer in early spring, as soon as the ground has thawed, and then, if you wish, again in early to mid June.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Wed, 05/27/2015 - 8:32pm

The idea of a Lilac that continues to bloom all summer is intriguing to me as I produce a Lilac Pancake Syrup, limited by only the amount of blooms and time it takes to process each batch. Would love to make it though out the summer.

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Tue, 06/02/2015 - 6:55am

Interesting! I have never heard of lilac pancake syrup, but it sounds fabulous!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Mon, 05/18/2015 - 7:33pm

If they work should be great for BEES and other creatures that seek flower nectar!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Mon, 05/18/2015 - 5:56pm

Is it only a dwarf version that reblooms?

Stacey Hirvela's picture
Stacey Hirvela Tue, 06/02/2015 - 6:56am

Bloomerang lilacs are a different species than the bigger common lilacs, and they tend to be smaller. New Bloomerang Dark Purple lilac will reach about 6' tall and wide.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sun, 05/10/2015 - 5:57am

This is an amazing Lilac....Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Be sure to follow sunlight and soil recommendations....


Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sat, 09/21/2013 - 2:41pm

I have had 2 of these for 2 years. They look very spindly and have only bloomed in the spring. I need some help on how to raise these. What type of fertilizer and when to prune? Can I cut them back now and hope for a good seaon next year or ? Our local nursery said that they quit handling these because of poor performance. Any help would be appreciated. We are in mid Missouri and these are planted in full sun and watered.

Woodwitch's picture
Woodwitch Mon, 01/16/2012 - 10:56am

I am not in any way in favor of the Genetically Modified Seeds, or plants, for FOOD. The ones that produce the sterilized gene so that you have to go back to the seed producer back, time and again to be able to grow the food, such as rice, or corn. But a Lilac that re-blooms to me, is an individual choice, I have a old fashioned lilac and it will from time to time, try to rebloom, depending on the weather conditions, just as my trees will try to bloom out of season. If we have a warm spell in the fall, it seems to confuse the trees and my bulbs, and flowers into thinking that it may be time to come back up, or to bloom. I have a Japaneese Magnola that does the same. It will attempt to bloom in the fall, and will actually put on full blooms when it is September or October, not April or May, it is supposed to bloom in April, and does, but when the weather turns cold, then we have a few weeks of rain and then warm weather, the confusion starts. Is that something that should be stopped, and HOW? so I believe if you want a lilac that blooms all summer, and who wouldn't love to smell that delicious smell, (if they do have the same fantastic aroma of an Old Fashioned) all summer long?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sat, 10/15/2011 - 6:44am

Will not grow good in NC

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