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  1. #1
    Hello.* I am located in Northern Virginia, if knowing the geography helps.

    Planted in the front of my town house are 4 boxwoods and one lilac.* They*are all planted in one row about 2-3 feet apart with the lilac in the right end in what amounts to a corner between my and my neighbor's house.* However, they do receive completely full and direct*sunlight all day long.* The boxwoods are thriving, but the lilac is having some problems.

    I planted the lilac*as a start from my parents lilac (in*Southwestern Pennsylvania)*in Autumn 2004.* When I planted it,*I used some commercial "potting soil"*( I can't remember the name) designed for trees and shrubs.* It's the kind of stuff that's supposed to give shrubs and trees a kick start when first planted.* It's done wonders for the boxwoods and our paperbark maple.

    Here's the problem.* The lilac did not*bloom at all in Spring 2005.* Since it was*growing taller than I wanted,*I pruned it in early summer 2007*to get it to make more branches which worked.* However, it didn't bloom in 2006.* I was patient and left it alone and it did not bloom this year either.**It has plenty of lush green leaves.* However the edges of the most tender leaves at the tips of new shoots seem to turn gray and shrivel up and then*that sprout seems to die.*

    So, the problems with the lilac are, no blooms and shriveling leaves.* If anyone can help, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Methos,

    Lilacs prefer a more alkaline soil.* You mentioned that you added "commercial potting soil" when you planted.* I suspect that you added a potting medium for potted plants.* Most all of that is peat moss based, which is acid based.* Lilacs prefer a more alkaline soil and growing them in an acid based soil will cause them not to flower.* They also need full sun.* I would suggest you NEVER use potting soil when planting outdoors but add 3" or 4" of compost to the planting bed and mix it in.*

    For your lilac I would suggest you move it to a sunnier location, add the compost and a cup of powdered lime.* Prune off the spent flowers within two weeks of the finish of bloom as they set their buds for the next year after that.* If you want to make your shurb smaller, prune the oldest trunks flush to the ground.* It can take 5 to 7 years for a new sprout to bloom.* Here's some helpful info on growing lilac.
    http://www.aboutlilacs.com/transplan...c_bushes.shtml http://www.heardgardens.com/basicsforlilacs.htm
    http://lilacs.freeservers.com//lilac_tips.html
    http://www.gardenersnet.com/lilac/lilac02.htm
    http://spi.8m.com/care.htm

    Not sure what you have going on with your lilac as it could* be powdery mildew, bacterial blight, etc.* Take a look at these sites to see what fits and get back to me so we can come up with an organic solution.
    http://www.ppdl.org/dd/id/bacterial_blight-lilac.html
    http://www.ppath.cas.psu.edu/EXTENSI...ASE/lilac.html

    Newt

  3. #3
    many thanks Newt.

    My lilac currently receives full sun, so I doubt that is the issue.* I have nowhere to relocate it to.* I don't want to irreparably damage the roots, so I'll try the lime and work it into the soil under the lilac.* As for the shriveling leaves, my first inclination is bacterial blight.* But I'm do some more research before I decide.

    One other thing, I'm guessing that boxwoods like a more acidic soil.* If so, then I guess I've made a blunder putting them in such proximity to each other.*

    Again, many thanks Newt.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Methos, you are very welcome!* Not to worry about moving your lilac if it gets full sun.* I must have misread that and was thinking you said it didn't.* Just sprinkle a cup of lime around the base of the shrub and scratch it in.* You may need to do that once a year for a couple of years.* Stop pruning and you should have flowers soon.* I had a lilac that was planted where pines had grown and hadn't bloomed for 10 years.* I did the lime and had blooms the next year!

    Do get back to me on the leaf problem.* I'll be away from the computer from Sunday afternoon until the following weekend.

    Newt

  5. #5
    [align=left]Hello Newt.[/align]
    [align=left]I'm still having a few problems with my lilac I was hoping you might be able to help me figure out.* One point of clarification is it does not receive*morning sun...only midday and afternoon.* However, that is full sun.[/align]
    [align=left]Also, I've already*applied lime*(back in very late*May)**as you suggested.[/align]
    [align=left]The problems,* (You can see pics at this link*http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeedfra/ )[/align]
    [align=left]1.* Light brown sections on some of the leaves (not the entire leaf) and usually happens to a small group of leaves.* I noticed 3 separate sections on the bush.[/align]
    [align=left]2.* Many of the leaves (10-15%) appear to have been partially eaten by an insect and as a result are now deformed.* It reminds me of clothing that has shrunk in the dryer.* The leaves are puckered around the eaten areas.* Possibly a leaf miner?[/align]
    [align=left]3.* A grayish film on the top (usually) and underside of about 50% of the leaves.* It does not seem to harm the leaves.* I noticed this last year as well and don't remember any adverse affects then either.[/align]
    [align=left]Many thanks for reading.* Let me know if you want additional pics.[/align]
    [align=left]Best regards,[/align]
    [align=left]Methos[/align]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Menthos, I'm positive your lilac has bacterial blight. It causes everything you see including the deformed leaves and what looks like chewed leaves.* Here's that site I gave you earlier that describes it and tells what to do.
    http://www.ppdl.org/dd/id/bacterial_blight-lilac.html

    You also have powdery mildew.* It's generally not too much of a problem for lilacs and is quite common.* Mine had if for a couple of years when we had very damp springs and then dry summers.* It can weaken a plant over time, especially since you have bacterial blight.* I would suggest you prune off the infected branches from the blight, clean up all fallen leaves and then spray with milk or baking soda to control the powdery mildew. I don't recommend the use of Neem oil much anymore as it's been found to kill beneficials.* Don't forget to topdress the soil with a cup of lime again this fall if you didn't do it in the spring.* Scratch it into the soil.
    http://www.backyardgardener.com/tv/mildew.html
    http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/bakingsoda.html

    Newt

  7. #7
    Newt,

    Thanks so much.* I'll address it immediately.* All the best,

    Methos

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Methos, I just noticed I misspelled your name in my last post.* I'm sorry!* :?* Please let me know if there is no improvement.* I don't think you'll see much improvement until next year.* Do be sure to clean up all the leaves in the fall too.

    Newt

  9. #9
    Newt, no problem there!!* Some times I do it too!!* I'll be sure to let you and other readers know how it turned out.* Until then, best regards,

    Methos

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