Violet Uprising™ Lilac

Syringa patula ‘JN Upright Select’ PPAF

Description & Overview

Violet Uprising™ Lilac is a new introduction (2020) selected for its upright habit and heavy flowering habit. Typically, taller than broad, this selection is an exceptional choice for hedging in a sunny location. At 9 years old, the original plant was 6 feet tall by 5 feet wide with minimal shearing. The intoxicatingly fragrant violet flowers are lighter in color than Miss Kim Lilac and larger, averaging 12 inches long and 6 inches across. Selected by Michael Yanny, this plant is sure to be a hit.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 4-6 feet
Mature Spread: 4-5 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Upright oval
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Site Requirements: Average, requires well-drained soils
Flower: Violet to lavender panicle, quickly aging to white, fragrant
Bloom Period: May
Foliage: Green
Fall Color: Red, purple, variable
Fruit Notes: Capsule

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Suggested Uses:

Violet Uprising™ shines as a fragrant hedge and is ideal along property lines or to create ‘rooms’ in your landscape. Its upright habit is especially well-suited to formal landscapes, although you can also use it as a vertical accent near a three-seasons room or patio where you’ll be able to enjoy its spring fragrance.

Salable #3 container Violet Uprising. Pictures taken late May.

Examples of mature Violet Uprising™ Lilac.

Wildlife Value:

Like all lilacs, Violet Uprising™ will attract butterflies and hummingbirds with its intoxicating flowers. However, the foliage is not a good food source for insects and the shrub doesn’t make exceptionally good habitat for our native birds. If you’re looking for wildlife value, this is not the plant for you. However, it is exceptional for fragrance and as a privacy plant.

Maintenance Tips:

Pruning in the dormant season will remove flower buds and significantly reduce the aesthetic value of the plant.

You may need to prune young plants (after they finish flowering) to help strengthen the stems to better support larger blooms in the future.

Prune your Violet Uprising Lilac immediately after flowering for two reasons. First, removing the flower heads before they set seed will encourage heavier blooms next year. Second, the spent flower panicles will detract from the overall aesthetics of the plant. Hedging & Shearing are the two preferred methods to remove the spent flower clusters, although you may eventually need to use the Haircut Method after years of consecutive shearing. Alternatively, you may also use Heading Cuts to remove the flower heads, but this will be more time consuming.


Like its parent plant, Miss Kim, Violet Uprising™ Lilac requires good drainage for best performance. If sited where drainage is poor, root rot and Verticillium Wilt can develop. If you observe these problems on your plant, reduce your irrigation or plant a more water-tolerant species.

Like all Lilacs (Syringa spp.), Violet Uprising™ is susceptible to Verticillium Wilt. If you know you have this soil borne fungus in your landscape, avoid planting any Lilac in your landscape. Read more about Verticillium Wilt resistant plants.

Foliage can scorch late in the season when temperatures are hotter than average. This has been observed on both Violet Uprising™ and Miss Kim, but it seems to be a genetic issue rather than a disease problem. If observed, don’t panic! The plant will try again next year.

Leaf Lore:

Violet Uprising™ Lilac is a seedling selection of Miss Kim Lilac made by Michael Yanny in 2005. After years of trial and observation, the plant is ready to bring to market for its tidy upright habit, good fall color, and excellent flowering.

Although not Urban Approved, Violet Uprising™ should be useful in urban settings. It was excluded from this group due to its need for well-drained soils. You should not be afraid to use it in urban and suburban designs, especially when you are able to amend soil with organic matter prior to planting.

Companion Plants:

A full-sun loving plant, Violet Uprising™ Lilac should not be planted with larger shrubs or trees that will shade it. Companion plants should complement the foliage of the lilac and provide interest through the season while not detracting from the spring flowers or fall color. Candidates include the many colorful Coralbell cultivars, reblooming miniature Daylilies like Stella D’oro, Happy Returns, or Rosy Returns (read Daylilies Comparison), and massing plants like Rozanne Geranium, Zagreb Coreopsis, and Summer Peek-a-Boo™ Ornamental Onion.

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