Name: Syringa x ‘Penda’ aka Bloomerang® Purple Lilac
Type of Plant: A re-blooming lilac shrub, hardy in Zones 3-7
Why I love this: There are many reasons to love this lilac. First of all, it’s smaller in size so you’re not likely to accuse it of “getting out of control.” Secondly, the foliage isn’t prone to powdery mildew and the small leaves are dark green and very attractive. But the third and main reason to love this plant, and the reason that this lilac is named Bloomerang, is that it continues to flower through the summer on new growth. Plant geeks call this characteristic “remontant,” which means blooming more than once a season.
For those who say “Lilacs are a spring flower!” I respond, “If that’s how you feel, fine…stick with the tried and true.” (Read Tim Wood’s post about the re-blooming lilac controversy here.) My feeling is that our landscapes should be very diverse and filled with many types of plants. I think that what we grow in our yards should feed us, support the wildlife, or cause us to smile. Some plants will do all of the above, but one out of three is acceptable too.
Bloomerang lilac makes me happy. I can pick the flowers for bouquets into October. Those who know me recognize that I believe that “You can never go wrong with purple,” and if I can see purple flowers on a lilac in October? Heaven.
A Word to the Wise: I have seen that even without deadheading this shrub reblooms later in the summer. But I’ve also noticed that if I take the time to clip off spent flowers just below the faded blooms, the plant comes back even faster with more.