Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dwarf Lilac
Syringa 'Josee'

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Syringa (si-RING-gah) (Info)
Cultivar: Josee

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)
USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
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)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By harper97
Thumbnail #1 of Syringa  by harper97

By harper97
Thumbnail #2 of Syringa  by harper97

By mcrousse
Thumbnail #3 of Syringa  by mcrousse

By harmlessgirl
Thumbnail #4 of Syringa  by harmlessgirl

By nray57
Thumbnail #5 of Syringa  by nray57


7 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nray57 On Jul 20, 2014, nray57 from Lebanon, MO wrote:

I prune mine for shape after blooming, and it stays about 4'. I have tried not pruning and pruning, either way, the re-bloom is very scarce. It handles our hot humid summers well and survived a brutal winter here as well. Nothing can beat the smell of lilacs in the sprig, and this one is small enough that I can include it in my border right next to my front door.

Positive harmlessgirl On Aug 8, 2012, harmlessgirl from Burbank, CA wrote:

Have four of these, three along our back fence in full sun all day long, and one in a pot next to our garage. All do incredibly well, even in the 100+ degree temps we sometimes get in Southern California. The ones along the back fence are only two years old and they're putting out a second flush of blooms despite the brutal August heat! My mom grew up in Montana and has been waxing poetic about the smell of lilacs in the spring since I was a kid. She was completely floored when I found these little beauties AND was able to get them to not only survive in our climate, but thrive! Needless to say, I'll be getting her one or two for her birthday this year!

Positive mcrousse On Aug 4, 2011, mcrousse from Holly Springs, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is not what I would call a dwarf shrub- mine are at least 6- feet tall in full sun- but I have enjoyed them thus far. They attained that height in 4 years. I do not fuss over them and water them occasionally. I do not deadhead them and they rebloom on and off through the summer. The rebloom is not as showy as the first spring bloom. They have taken our awful heat this summer with no trouble. Many lilacs cannot handle our climate. I have three planted in a small hedge and they are doing great, planted in yucky clay soil here in zone 7b. They have set seed this year as well.

Positive harper97 On Jun 5, 2010, harper97 from Pelham, NH wrote:

My Josee is very happy in rich soil in full sun. It has grown larger than the 6' it's supposed to attain (shrubs do that in my back yard's wonderful soil.), and each spring it is hard to see the leaves for all the gloriously fragrant, lilac-pink blooms. It appeared dead when I first got it, and I called the catalog seller, who promptly sent a replacement, and said "our compliments" when the first plant pulled through. The second one was labeled "Josee", but has a more upright shape and blooms a tad later. But both rebloom at least once for me, and I don't deadhead religiously either. I would happily plant a whole hedge of Josee.

Positive Joy On Sep 11, 2008, Joy from Kalama, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

‘Josee’ (S. x ‘Josee’) A unique dwarf lilac hybrid with an attractive spring display of lavender-pink flowers, reminiscent of Meyer Lilac (S. meyeri), one of its parents, but with a reblooming tendency, especially in the fall, which is more typical of Littleleaf Lilac, another one of its parents. Very tough and easy to grow. Height 4-6’, spread 4-6’.

Positive zville123 On Jun 4, 2007, zville123 from Zanesville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Nice, small lilac with fragrant pink flowers. If deadheaded in the spring, it will throw out an occasional bloom in the summer. If your area is going through a dry spell, remember to water it.

Positive RDT On Dec 29, 2004, RDT from Crossville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted this lilac in the fall of 2003. It was quite small but the following Spring it put out a few sprigs of blooms. I deadheaded after the blossoms was spent. This is a requirement if you want it to rebloom. And then it bloomed 6 to 8 weeks later and continued to do so until October.


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

Ohatchee, Alabama
Burbank, California
Navarre, Florida
Sioux Center, Iowa
East Lansing, Michigan
Lake Park, Minnesota
Lebanon, Missouri
Pelham, New Hampshire
Coram, New York
Elba, New York
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Zanesville, Ohio
Enid, Oklahoma
Dillsburg, Pennsylvania
Harrison Valley, Pennsylvania
Havertown, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Crossville, Tennessee
Fort Worth, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
South Burlington, Vermont
Kalama, Washington

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