Plant Encyclopedia

Miss Kim Lilac

Syringa pubescens subsp. patula

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Miss Kim Lilac green bush with white and red flowers

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Miss Kim Lilac

If you are short on space but still want the scent of a lilac, you are in luck with the Miss Kim lilac (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula ‘Miss Kim). This plant remains denser, stays smaller, and grows slower than a common lilac. The elegant shrub keeps its natural shape as it produces a massive display of springtime flowers. You will want to add this gorgeous and fragrant shrub to your outdoor spaces.

Plant Attributes

The flower buds are a dark purple-pink hue. As they open, the colors vary from an icy blue to pale lavender. The flowers fade to a soft lavender-pink shade at the end of the season.

Along with the pink colors, these flowers have a sweet fragrance that travels throughout your garden. The scent is most noticeable in late spring. The dark leaves feature a more rounded and smaller shape than other lilac varieties. In the summer, the foliage retains its green color. By the autumn season, the leaves transform into a shade of blush red. However, there are some years when this shrub delivers a stunning burgundy fall color.

Landscape Use

This lilac is a versatile plant, and there are so many ways to use it in your yard. Smaller evergreens and flowering plants work best when they are underplanted with this shrub. If you want a dense hedge, you need to plant these shrubs 2 to 3 feet apart from the center of each lilac. However, the Miss Kim lilac can be planted about 3 to 4 feet apart for those looser hedges. For homes with higher windows, you should think about adding the Miss Kim as a foundation planting. A single plant makes an excellent specimen to anchor those property corners.

With its small size, the Miss Kim is the perfect plant for patio and walkway borders. In a backyard landscape, this lilac is great for hedging the back of your mixed borders. You should plant in a checkerboard pattern to create a thick mass planting. This lilac will do well in a large container as a screen for a pool deck or patio. If you want to give your entrance a dramatic appearance, then you might want to add the Miss Kim to either side of your entryway.

Planting & Care for 

Miss Kim Lilac

You want to take extra steps to support those fragrant blooms. The Miss Kim lilac needs to be placed in well-draining soil. If you have puddles in your yard, it is best to plant this lilac in a raised mound. The Miss Kim does not like those soils with standing water. This lilac needs full sunshine, and you should place it in a spot with plenty of morning sun. If there is too much shade in your landscape, the lilac will produce leaves but no flowers.

During the first year, the Miss Kim lilac requires a moderate amount of water. For hot and dry climates, the roots need to remain moist for a healthier plant. Once the roots have been established, this plant can handle those moderate droughts. You may have to give supplemental water in areas with extended delays between rainfall.

This shrub will grow about 6 to 10 inches per year. At maturity, the Miss Kim lilac can reach a height of 4 to 5 feet. You should prune out those crossing branches and broken limbs. Since the blooms form on last year’s wood, you must prune at the right time. You should trim this shrub right after it flowers for the season. When you follow this pruning schedule, you will not lose flowers for the next season’s bloom.

Additional Information

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Miss Kim Lilac

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Plant Features

  • Plant type: Shrub
  • Watering Needs: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
  • Botanical Pronunciation: sih-REEN-gah pew-BES-senz PAT-ew-la
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous
  • Growth rate: Slow
  • Average landscape size: Slow growing; reaches 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide, or more with age.
  • Special features: Compact Form, Easy Care, Fall Color, Improved Disease Resistance, Improved Pest and Disease Resistance, Tolerates Road Salt
  • Dramatic Foliage: Color, Easy Care
  • Foliage color: Green
  • Blooms: Spring
  • Flower color: Purple
  • Flower attributes: Fragrant, Showy Flowers
  • Garden style: Cottage, Rustic
  • Design Ideas:A lilac with wonderful fragrance and good fall color that needs to be planted where it can be admired for three seasons of the year. The smaller-than-usual growth of this shrub makes it easy to place in the front of a border, or use as a low hedge along the drive or sidewalk.
  • Companion Plants: Boxwood (Buxus); Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia); Coneflower (Echinacea); Juniper (Juniperus); Maiden Grass (Miscanthus

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