The Complete Guide for President Grévy French Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’) Care


The President Grévy French Lilac, otherwise known as the Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ or Pond Cypress, Taxodium distichum var. imbricarium, is a somewhat well known tree plant native to the Northeast, and the Southeast of the United States.

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

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this President Grévy French Lilac Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your President Grévy French Lilac are the following:

  • Water: The President Grévy French Lilac needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the President Grévy French Lilac in soil with moist but well-draining to poorly draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of loam and clay.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your President Grévy French Lilac is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Syringa vulgaris 'President Grévy' flowers

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the President Grévy French Lilac belongs to the Cupressaceae family, the genus Taxodium and the species Distichum, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ (sih-REEN-gah vul-GAIR-iss).

As with other Taxodium’s, the President Grévy French Lilac is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The President Grévy French Lilac is a plant native to the NC, Southern U.S.A. and Mexico. This is why the Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ is used to growing in specific regions such as the states in Northeast, and the Southeast of the United States.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your President Grévy French Lilac is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ will be most used to regions where the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the President Grévy French Lilac is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.

Size

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

The Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ can grow up to 50′ – 60′ (15m – 18m) in 50′ – 60′ (15m – 18m) and 10′ – 15′ (3m – 4.5m) in 10′ – 15′ (3m – 4.5m). 

Water

In terms of watering, the President Grévy French Lilac is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

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

Syringa vulgaris 'President Grévy' plant

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your President Grévy French Lilac in soil with moist but well-draining to poorly 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, moist, and occasionally wet properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the President Grévy French Lilac since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the President Grévy French Lilac prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and occasionally wet properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of loam and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the President Grévy French Lilac requires soil with clay, 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 neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

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

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

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ 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 President Grévy French Lilac will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the fall.

Flowers

You can expect your President Grévy French Lilac to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

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

The President Grévy French Lilac produces some beautiful violet-blue flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the President Grévy French Lilac have a beautiful dark green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a needles arrangement with a opposite and whorled organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ to be around (< 1 inch) in size.

Syringa vulgaris 'President Grévy' up close

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The President Grévy French Lilac is well known for being able to attract birds, 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 clay soil and wet soil, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’ will be fine.

Garden

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

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of prairie and meadow styles. 

In particular, the President Grévy French Lilac’s best location within your garden is in ponds and streams, others use it for landscaping in a hedge, border, cutting garden, or a windbreak.

Conclusion

So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy President Grévy French Lilac in your garden or home.

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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