New to NC

bonnie_il(8)February 16, 2008

Hi All.

Like Kim I came to NC sight unseen because of DH's health.

Been here 2 months and really enjoy it.

I did notice in my reading, I'm trying to find out what grows well here, that some said lilacs don't so well here. Why is that?

I brought 2 cuttings of an old lilac that my DH got from his Grandma. Are they doomed?

Any advise on some easy care plants?

Thanks for your help.


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ashef(coastal NC z8)

Most lilacs don't do well here because it's too hot. But root your cuttings and try them in a site with morning sun and afternoon shade. Lilacs will do better in the western part of the state where it's cooler than in the east. As for easy care plants, mostly we look for plants that will survive our broiling summers, since winters are mild. It's hard to recommend easy care plants for you without knowing where you live and what kind of soil you have.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 6:16PM
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Hi, Bonnie! You might enjoy coming to the Plant Delights Nursery winter open house next weekend. It is only open a few times a year as it is a mail-order company, but I think you'll be surprised to see what plants you can have here even in winter!

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Delights Nursery Open House

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Thanks ashef and laurabs for the information. I'm about 20 miles east of Raleigh.
The cuttings I brought are rotted. They are already planted on the northside of the house but should get afternoon sun from the west.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 9:07PM
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I think I read somewhere that lilacs don't do well here because there isn't enough chill during winter for proper bloom set. We have a similar problem with tulips and other early bulbs, don't we? There are supposed to be some new varieties of lilacs that tolerate our mild winters and brutal summers. I'd love to have one. I loved the lilacs in NY when I lived up there. SO BEAUTIFUL!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 12:15AM
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I put the cuttings were rotted, When it should have said rooted.
Going to watch the lilacs and sun. May move them closer to the house.
Thanks for your help ashef, laurabs and lindakimy.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 8:04AM
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ashef(coastal NC z8)

Bonnie, if you have sandy soil instead of mostly clay soil, gardenias will thrive and will be a nice compensation for not being able to grow lilacs that thrive. I read all the "suicidal gardenia" horror story threads on Garden Web and laugh, because in eastern NC, gardenias are pretty much a native plant. They love our heat & humidity! Allie

PS. Welcome to NC!!!! You'll love it here.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 1:43PM
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Thanks Allie. For the welcome and the advice.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 7:21PM
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quirkpod(7 Lewisville NC)

The number one thing a Lilac needs is alkaline soil. Lime the soil heavily in and around the planting hole. If you have red clay soil, like I do in the Piedmont of NC (outside Winston-Salem), I can tell you that red clay is acid and Lilacs hate it. Late afternoon shade will make them happy. No direct sun after 3 or 4PM. Mine are happy here, and I am a transplanted Bostonian, so gotta have em! Dig a large hole and amend it heavily with manure and compost and lime. The hole should be wider than you need it, and amend it like crazy.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 7:22PM
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Thanks quirkpod. I'll get them moved this weekend to the north side of the house. I would really hate to lose them.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 8:15AM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Hi Bonnie and welcome to the Carolinas! If you do a search on lilacs in this forum there's been a few conversations about lilacs. It's my fav! One thing I've learned to help with the powdery mildew is keep some air flow around them, especially on the north side of the house, and some winters I spray them with sulphur when they're dormant and it seems to help. It's also important to prune them every year when they are young to help them to bush more and not be so straggly. I've had more trouble with the hybrids when it comes to being straggly. A nice southern lilac that does well here is 'Miss Kim' .. it's very carefree and tolerant of our humidity and warmer winters.

Here is a link that might be useful: lilac search

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 1:09PM
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Frances Coffill(7b)

Hi Bonnie
Welcome to a whole new world! I moved here from Canada 10 years ago, but only moved to a place where I can garden in the fall of 2006!

Full sun in the North is a completely different animal than it is here! Try to give things shade in the afternoon, this is the big difference between the north and south. North temperatures rise until noon or one and then start dropping. South temperatures continue to rise until sunset before gradually dropping AFTER SUNSET!

Mid to late afternoon is the hotest part of the day, and the sun can be brutal!


    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 5:57PM
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Thanks everyone for your help.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 7:12AM
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