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Lesson learned about lilac

Posted by bob_b Sunset 14, Ca. (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 8, 10 at 17:29

I just yanked out a common lilac, stared from a sucker a few years ago. No blooms! Nursery person said not enough chill here; yank it out and put in a new cultivar bred for warmer winters.

What's the best lilac I can choose. Interested first in fragrance, then deep rather than pale pink. I also like the more graceful and delicate form. What about Chinese lilac, or should I stay with common?

RB


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

I have Blue Skies that has bloomed in the past but hasn't this year and I think its too late now. It gets so hot in August-Sept that it fries even in shade.
You might check with Descanso they should be blooming now and have hybrids for socal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Descanso


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

Here we have two lilacs planted by my folks 50 years ago, plus one I planted 20 years ago. They all bloom, so chilling is not the problem. The original plants do not bloom as lushly as I have seen others, but they are not well sited, and no effort is spent on them. The younger plant blooms better in the same conditions and I feel sure the newer Descanso hybrids would do even better. Al


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 10, 10 at 19:53

I've seen the Descanso lilacs. Some of them are decent looking, they should be better in 14. I think Descanso is 19. They're not as impressive as those in say Illinois, but they're decent. As I remember the Descanso ones were all pretty airy and delicate in form.


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

My father-in-law has a lilac that blooms its fool head off in Palmdale. Yes, Palmdale. The lilac's name is Lazarus.
Renee


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

I grow Blue Skies and Forest K Smith (think that is correct name) here in coastal northern California and they bloom just fine. I does get down into the 30s regularly over the winter, however. Believe those varieties are Descansos.


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

I was unclear in my last post. This individual's moniker is Lazarus.


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Lesson learned about lilac

  • Posted by bob_b Sunset 14, Ca. (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 11, 10 at 15:34

I planted a "Lavender Lady" (S. vulgaris). Nursery person assured me this cultivar takes heat and low chill. We'll see. I really like the delicate look of Persian lilac and Korean lilac, but I could find no assurance that they do not need a lot of winter chill.

Incidentally, a couple of nursery persons said throw ice on the roots of a lilac a couple of times in winter, and that will do a lot to chill them. Also winter application of 0-10-10 was suggested.

Interesting looking into lilacs. They're a diverse group.

RB


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

Good luck Bob on trying lilac again. My guess is it will do OK but not up to the bloom masses regularly attained where the winter is long and cold. The nursery clerks(I won't refer to them as nurserymen!)who suggested icing the roots of plants to achieve winter chill, just do not have a clue. It is the buds that respond to chilling temperatures, not the roots. Unfortunately establishments selling plants are not routinely staffed by personnel familiar with the product they are selling. But then again, why should nurseries be singled out for a practice rampant throughout most sales organizations. Out of frustration with a clerk unable to to answer a simple product question, I remarked,"Just what are you here for?". Her remark that she was supposed to prevent people stealing, at least explained her presents. Is it any wonder so many large retailers are disappearing as we do more and more shopping "on line"? Sorry for the rant. Al


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

I hear ya Al. I was shopping at Home Depot and thought I'd check the nursery department. I am in Temecula where it can really get hot and windy in the summer - I plant mostly natives and have left a good deal of chaparral on my 5 acres. So, I say to the clerk "I guess you don't have any natives?" the reply "whata ya mean natives?" LOL

What about our native lilac Ceanothus? - I have several that are just gorgeous right now.


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

California has more native plants than any state. Maybe your clerk did not know you were referring to "plants"? Al


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

Bob, I visited Descanso today and posted a few pics on a new thread.
A few others that are deep colored are:
Ethiopia
Kosmos
Monge
Descanso King

They did have Lavender Lady and is a very light lavender color.
They all had a scent but after sniffing a few and in the entire area you can smell them, its hard to say which have a stronger scent.
They are having a sale April 23-24.


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

Some gardeners are so much more organized than I. One lady living at a distance from the plant sale, when she was emailed about the tomato sale, requested an emailed list of the varieties. Of the 31 varieties available she researched them at home and arrived with her list. In a few minutes she had her selections. So many of us look at the plants and try and make choices based on how good or bad they look instead of doing the research on the expected performance. Al


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

  • Posted by bob_b Sunset 14, Ca. (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 17, 10 at 10:08

Nice pictures from Descanso. I'd visit there at the drop of a hat if I lived in So. Ca.

RB


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RE: Lesson learned about lilac

Bob, Monrovia has some of them. I stopped at a nearby Armstrong which had Monrovia but I only saw Blue Skies and Lavender Lady. Your local nursery might be able to order a selection if you think it will work in your zone. Also as you know most reputable nurseries won't sell or order if it won't.


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