Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Common Lilac, French Lilac
Syringa vulgaris 'Monore'

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Syringa (si-RING-gah) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Monore
Additional cultivar information: (PP6877; aka Blue Skies)
Hybridized by Moore; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1987

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Patent expired

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
By grafting
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By angele
Thumbnail #1 of Syringa vulgaris by angele

By angele
Thumbnail #2 of Syringa vulgaris by angele

By TomH3787
Thumbnail #3 of Syringa vulgaris by TomH3787

By TomH3787
Thumbnail #4 of Syringa vulgaris by TomH3787


2 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Mar 28, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Common/French lilacs require substantial winter dormancy and do not bloom reliably south of Z6.

"Blue Skies"/'Monore' was hybridized by the legendary rose breeder Ralph Moore in Visalia, CA, Z9a, and is recommended for planting in southern CA. It would also be worth testing in Z8 and Z9 in the southeastern US.

I seriously doubt that this lilac is S. vulgaris---it is likely some sort of hybrid. And I suspect that its fragrance is not the same.

Neutral Joan On Apr 24, 2009, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Editor's Note

Plant Patent number 6877 has expired
Positive TomH3787 On Apr 12, 2008, TomH3787 from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

A good lilac for the South - needs only a short chill period to set buds. Allegedly good through zone 9 but that might be pushing it. I am in 7b/8a and it does great for me.

Negative goofybulb On Sep 3, 2007, goofybulb from El Paso, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

As I am not a Florida native, I always missed the plants from back home. Just as SantaRosaGal said, I wished to have a lilac in my garden. And, after 5 years of being in Miami, I decided to get one. The lilac that I bought in June from Home Depot On-Line Store arrived in beautiful condition, just like taken from my grandmothers garden. Though it was recommended for at most zone 9, not 10, I dared to have one, since it said it doesn't need the frost and coldness to survive, and that it has some resistance to heat and humidity.
I planted it in a big pot (tenants syndrome, probably) in potting mix with slow-release fertilizer. My lilac never flowered (I guess it was already past the season anyway, and, as others tried to make excuses for their plants, "maybe it was too young"...). For about one month, it seemed to do just fine with regular watering and sunny location, and I thought to myself that zoning isn't everything. It actually gave two new little branches.
But as soon as the strong heat and humidity settled in July, my lilac started to look very bad. The leaves looked burned, and showed no fresh growth. I thought that maybe it gets too much sun, so I moved it to part shade.
Now, as we are entering September, my lilacs situation is stagnant. Not a single new leaf, not a sign of improvement, nothing.
I will keep you updated on my lilac this coming spring, and I still hope for the best. If it makes it to next year, I will move it inside, and see if its better, and hopefully will change the rating of this beautiful flowering shrub.
However, I have a strong suspicion already. With sadness, I'm trying already to prepare myself for a complete and irreversible failure, it might be that "lilacs are not for Florida anyway", an idea that I think we all think, but some of us still deny (yours truly included)!
But until then, Dear Floridians, keep up the optimism!
Alex, the goofybulb

Positive SantaRosaGal On May 20, 2007, SantaRosaGal from Jay, FL wrote:

8b northern NW FL. Purchased Lilac Blue Skies from an online nursery in October. It arrived as a 1 foot tall plant with leaves intact. I planted it in a sand-mixed soil and have mulched around the base. This spring I added lime. I has grown new leaves but did not bloom this spring. I anticipate it will bloom once it matures. It is tolerating the heat so far. This plant was developed by Monrovia Nurseries in California and is said that it is ideal for southern climates in that it does not require a dormant season. I have been wanting a lilac for my Florida Garden for a long time and am not "giving up hope". Will keep you posted. SantaRosaGal


I am pleased to announce that early this spring (March 2008) this lilac has really leafed-out and produced two very small (but beautiful) clusters of flowers and giving off that divine lilac scent! It is more healthy looking than ever! I would say that it has grown another foot since last year. I think that zone 8b is its limit as far as "far south" goes. I do not think it can manage more tropical heat than this area. As a "transplant" myself from Pennsylvania, I was elated to see it bloom. As stated above, I am thinking that the blooms will be larger at the plant matures and it will probably have more blooms each year.

Another thing that may have helped it along is that when it arrived, my husband dug a really wide and deep hole, removing our clay soil and replacing it with a good mix of sand, peat, humus, top soil, and a slow release fertilizer. I think that last year it just sat there because it was "too busy trying to establish itself"...but it sure took off this year!

Neutral spaceman_spiff On Jun 7, 2004, spaceman_spiff from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Ordered a one-gallon-sized plant a few months ago, and it seems to be doing well in my front garden (with full sun from mid-day forward). Hasn't bloomed yet, but I think it's not big enough yet. Ordered it from a nursery in the Carolinas, which stated that it "needs no winter chill to set bud and flower reliably season after season in the south." This variety was zoned for as far south as zone 9. I live in St. Petersburg, Florida, and am hoping this variety will be successful here. I know of no one else in this area with lilacs growing here.

5/15/2005: Update: Well, apparently this part of Florida is not suited for lilacs. My plant described above slowly gave up and died by the end of the summer. I left the bare plant in the ground through winter and spring, to see if it would come back, but no such luck. Therefore, I would not recommend this plant for Zone 9b.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jay, Florida
Mathiston, Mississippi
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Oneonta, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Staunton, Virginia

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