Posted by Newt on August 13, 2002 at 07:47:41:
In Reply to: Lilac Bush posted by Patty on August 11, 2002 at 18:02:38:
: I have two mini lilac bushes. One is thriving and one looks like it has some sort of disease. I have sprayed it with bug-b-gone and another spray for bugs but the leaves are still dying and shrivling up. We have had a very dry and humid summer. I don't want to lose the bush but don't know what to try. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
I always say "know the enemy before you spray". If you are spraying for bugs, are you seeing bugs or bug damage such as leaves chewed? If not, then you are only stressing the plant even more. It sounds like the bush is stressed for water. Lilacs are a pretty hardy bunch and are rarely bothered by bugs. They are prone to mildew, which would be a white coating on the leaves. This comes from damp conditions in spring followed by drought, or dry and humid conditions like you describe, so you might see this next spring. Also, lilacs like a more alkaline soil, so if your soil tends to be acidic, add some lime to the soil around the shrubs and scratch in. This will also help with bloom.
You don't say how long you've had the shrubs, but if they are less than a year old in your garden, then the problem may be that the root system has not developed enough to support the top growth in the drought. I would suggest watering deeply once the top inch of soil is dry, scratch in lime and mulch around the base to retain moisture and keep the soil temperature more even. You may not see any recovery from the shrub until next year, as it is probably too hot for new leaf growth now.