The Complete Guide for Big Blue Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’) Care


The Big Blue Lilac, otherwise known as the Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ or Syringa ‘Betsy Ross’, Lilac ‘Betsy Ross’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Big Blue Lilac is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Big Blue Lilac Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

In order to take proper care of your Big Blue Lilac you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Big Blue Lilac grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
  • Light: Keep your Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Big Blue Lilac in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Big Blue Lilac will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Big Blue Lilac up close

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Big Blue Lilac belongs to the Oleaceae family, the genus Syringa and the species Oblata, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ (sih-REEN-gah vul-GAIR-iss).

As with other Syringa’s, the Big Blue Lilac is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Big Blue Lilac is a plant native to the China.

You might be wondering why your Big Blue Lilac’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ will be most used to regions where the plant hardiness level falls between 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Big Blue Lilac is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But what exactly does this mean for your Big Blue Lilac? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ can grow up to 10′ – 12′ (3m – 3.6m) in 10′ – 12′ (3m – 3.6m) and 10′ – 12′ (3m – 3.6m) in 10′ – 12′ (3m – 3.6m). 

These dimensions make the Big Blue Lilac a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 144″ (360cm) free so the Big Blue Lilac can spread to its best extent.

Water

In terms of watering, the Big Blue Lilac is a fairly simple plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low to average needs in terms of water. 

Big Blue Lilac care

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Big Blue Lilac in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Big Blue Lilac then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Big Blue Lilac needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Big Blue Lilac prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Big Blue Lilac requires soil with high organic matter, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Big Blue Lilac requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being a deciduous plant, the Big Blue Lilac will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid).

Flowers

You can expect your Big Blue Lilac to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

In particular, this shrub is well known for its fragrant, flowers for cutting and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Big Blue Lilac produces some beautiful purple, or purple/lavender flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Big Blue Lilac have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Big Blue Lilac plant

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Big Blue Lilac is well known for being able to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ will be fine.

Garden

Does your Big Blue Lilac have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Syringa Vulgaris ‘Big Blue’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most cottage gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Big Blue Lilac’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a cutting garden, or a firescaping/fire wise.

Companion Plants

Big Blue Lilac’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Forsythia x intermedia ‘Kolgold’, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Viburnum x carlcephalum will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Big Blue Lilac to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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