While most lilacs only bloom once in spring, this reblooming variety has an encore in summer and even into fall.

By Andrea Beck
Updated February 20, 2020
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There are many reasons to love lilacs, including their beautiful blooms that attract butterflies, sweet fragrance, and easy care in the garden. Most lilacs will flower just once a year (usually in the spring), but why settle for only one chance to enjoy lilac blooms when you could grow a variety that blooms again later in the season? Bloomerang (Syringa 'Penda') which was introduced in 2009, is a hybrid lilac variety that first blooms in spring, takes a short break, and then starts up again in summer into fall. Its flowers are a pretty shade of pale purple which deepens a bit during the second bloom in the summer and fall. And while older lilacs can grow into large, gangling shrubs that top out around 10 feet tall or more, Bloomerang stays more compact at about four or five feet tall and wide.

Credit: Denny Schrock

Where to Grow Bloomerang Lilac

Bloomerang is hardy in Zones 3-7, so it will thrive in very cold climates. It's actually trickier to grow them successfully in warmer areas because these plants do need exposure to cold temperatures to bloom well. Otherwise, give it a spot that has fertile, well-drained soil and gets full sun (at least six hours of direct sunlight per day).

Credit: Blaine Moats

How to Grow Bloomerang Lilac

You can plant Bloomerang almost any time of the year besides winter, but planting in spring will give you the chance to enjoy it for the whole growing season. It usually produces its first flowers in mid-May. It rests in June, then starts reblooming in July and continues until the first frost. The difference between the two blooming seasons is the size of the panicles (clusters of flowers): The summer and fall flowers usually aren't as big as the spring blooms, but they'll still bring beauty to your garden.

This shrub tends to grow upright with fountainlike, long branches that arch gracefully near the ends. Every branch on this reblooming lilac produces flowers, which makes for a gorgeous, fragrant display. Bloomerang is also resistant to common lilac diseases like powdery mildew, and deer tend to leave it alone.

How to Prune Bloomerang Lilac

Bloomerang lilac reblooms on new growth, and light pruning and fertilizing encourages lots of that. Just after this dwarf shrub flowers, Bloomerang should be lightly pruned. It can also be deadheaded, which allows the plant to focus its energy on growth instead of producing seeds. You can also use a fertilizer formulated specifically for woody plants to encourage Bloomerang to continue growing. Still, even if you don't prune or fertilize, the plant will keep growing and reblooming.

Left: Azalea | Credit: Holly Pruett
Center: Phlox | Credit: Jay Wilde
Right: Sedum | Credit: Marty Ross

What to Plant with Bloomerang Lilac

There are two approaches for integrating companion plants, shrubs, and bushes with this reblooming lilac. First, pair it with perennials and shrubs that bloom along with the lilac flowers in early spring, like bleeding heart, Solomon's seal, Siberian iris, catmint, and azalea. Or, you can pair this reblooming lilac with shrubs and plants that flower when Bloomerang lilac is taking its early to midsummer rest, like daylilies, Asiatic lilies, and purple coneflower, as well as phlox, which spans the season. Good late-summer- and fall-flowering companions include evening primrose, sedum, and mums.

Bloomerang lilac's reputation as a reliable rebloomer with nearly one-of-a-kind color has held up for over a decade now, so you can plant it in your garden with confidence. Like other lilac varieties, its blooms also work well as cut flowers, keeping a vase stocked with fragrant blooms for months during the growing season. Whether you enjoy it indoors and out, Bloomerang will provide you with some of the best lilac flowers you can grow.

Comments (1)

Anonymous
March 18, 2019
Under where to grow the Bloomerang Lilac, you said this "Like many similar shrubs and bushes, it is hardy to Zone 3, although it tends to do better in cooler areas, such as those above Zone 7". Did you mean it does better in warmer areas? If that's the case, there is a HUGE difference between me planting in Minnesota (zone 4) and someone in California (zone 7). How can it be hardy to my area?