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