Dwarf Korean Lilac (Syringa meyeri Palibin)
Smaller than the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) as well as other varieties of lilacs, and more rounded and dense in form, the Dwarf Korean Lilac is a compact, deciduous shrub. Especially versatile in planting, it can be used as part of an informal or formal hedge, or it can take its place as a border, screen, foundation, group, or specimen shrub. Dwarf Korean Lilacs are also “suckerless” lilacs.
Dwarf Korean Lilac (S. meyeri “Palibin”)
Planting Zones: 3 – 7
Sunlight Requirements: Minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight per day
Mature Height: 4 to 6 feet
Mature Spread: 8 to 10 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Soil Moisture: Moist, Well-drained
Soil Type: Tolerant of most conditions
Planting Time: Early Spring when danger of frost has passed
Flower Color: Pale lavender
Bloom Period: Spring – Summer / Fall
Propagation Methods: Greenwood cuttings or layering in Summer
The sweet-smelling pale pinkish purple blossoms of the Dwarf Korean Lilac, arranged in clusters that cover the bush, are especially attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. The 4″ long panicles generally start appearing from April to May when the lilac is young. Planting in full sun will encourage a more extensive bloom time, often once in the Summer and again in early Fall. Removing old blooms encourages fresh new blooms. Prune conservatively after flowering. As a lilac, the Dwarf Korean Lilac makes for wonderful cutflowers for use in floral arrangements.
The leaves of the Dwarf Korean Lilac are small and rounded, and are dark green in color during the Spring and Summer. The foliage turns bright yellow during the Autumn and, as a deciduous plant, the leaves drop for Winter but leave an attractive stem sculpture in place.
The Dwarf Korean Lilac is a special variety in other ways as it is resistent to powdery mildew and lilac borers moths, two problems often affecting other lilacs.
Despite its name, this dwarf lilac bush actually originated from Northern China (not Korea). It was brought to America by Frank Meyer. This Frank Meyer, for those who might recognize the name, is indeed the same agricultural explorer who brought the dwarf lemon known as “Meyer Lemon” (Citrus × meyeri), and introduced other plants such as the “Purple-Blow Maple” / “Painted Maple” / “Shantung Maple” tree (Acer truncatum), the “Chinese Juniper” (Juniperus chinensis), the “Chinese Pistachio” (Pistacia chinensis), and the “Chinese Wild Peach” (Prunus davidiana) trees to America. He also brought the Amur Lilac (Syringa amurensis).
Lilacs are wonderful and this one is no exception! So find a little room in your garden for this gem. It won’t ask for much…