Dying Lilacs

laramikAugust 23, 2012

Please help me out as to what could possibly be wrong with my lilac bushes. This started last year and its not getting any better with time. I have tried a bone meal bloom promoting high acid fertilization to no avail and water doesnt help in the slightest either. I have 10 of these and they line my entire backyard if they don't get any better I'm afraid I'm going to lose all of them. TThey all look like this some to a slightly worse degree then others. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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More pic's

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:58PM
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I;'m not sure this is the problem but the mention of high acid makes me wonder. Lilacs like base not acidic fertilizer and I use vinegar (acid) to kill the shoots that insist on coming up beyond the border I maintain.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 7:28PM
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How much sun are the Lilacs getting? If they are being shaded it would explain the sparge foliage.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:51PM
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sherriseden(z6 IL)

Given the tree in the pic and the dappled light showing on the lilacs, I believe they are in too much shade. Lilacs need lots of sun. It's heartbreaking to lose plants, I know. But, there are lots of shrubs that will take part sun or part shade!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Pretty shady area...could be the cause.

Lilacs are pretty tolerant of soil conditions but have a preference for alkaline soils....they thrive around here on dry shallow clay soils over limestone (pH 8.3+). I don't recall ever seeing a healthy lilac on acidic soils.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:57AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

So how are they dong now? You could add lime to the soil to give them more basic conditions. I added some around mine and they really took off! Our soil is fairly neutral. Also using vinegar should not really have caused much problems, since it is organic, in about a week, all the acid would be broken down. Unlike say sulfur, which would stay acidic.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 10:14AM
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So, they look basically the same this year. I am going to add some lime to the soil and see what happens I guess. I can't imagine it could hurt at this point.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 10:48AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Another thing to try is to rejuvenate the plant by removing the old growth and hope that stimulates new growth. I did that to one of my bushes and I took too much off. Probably only 1/3 should be removed at most each year till renovated. I removed about 1/2 of the old growth and it looks thin, and hardly flowered, still new limbs are forming. They can be seen at the bottom middle.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:34PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

On a 2nd bush I only removed the oldest branch. it flowered profusely, well is flowering profusely. I just went outside and snapped this photo. Not much new growth though....

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:37PM
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