Lilacs can live in full sun to medium shade, but they do best in full sun. They tolerate most soil types, preferring a loamy and well-drained soil. They do not like wet soil. In general, soil pH should not be below 4.5 (very acid) and can go as high as 7.5 (slightly alkaline). It is best to purchase lilacs that have been grown on their own roots; grafted stock is susceptible to a disease that attacks the graft union.
Planting Nursery Stock
Plant bare-rooted shrubs in either the spring or fall; container-grown plants are more flexible and can be planted almost anytime during the season except when it is terribly hot and dry. Fall is the best time for planting in general. Keep the roots moist until planting time.
Amendments In Planting or Transplanting
There are a number of products at the garden center that will help your newly planted or transplanted plants deal better with the stress inherent in the planting process. All healthy plants have beneficial fungi, called mycorrhizal fungi, living on their roots. You can buy these valuable additions to your plant’s ecosystem. See the file describing Using Micorrhizae When Planting.
In addition, there are a number of products such as seaweed, compost tea, and beneficial soil microbes that when added to the planting process will help your newly established plants get going faster. See the file New Technology In Plant Growth Activators
For more information see the file on Planting Shrubs. For planting tools see Hand Tools For Digging and Planting in Yardener’s Tool Shed.