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Zombie Lilac

Last year I planted three lilac bushes, two did great but one struggled and didn't look to good. Now that spring has arrived the two good ones are wonderful, already in full leaf and actually my flowers have gone by. But the zombie lilac is not alive but not quite dead either. It has no leaves and really no leaf buds either, but if you try to break a branch it is still green inside. So is it dead since if is just a bunch of sticks or is it alive and I should give it a chance? I already have another lilac to replace it but I'm not sure of I should throw in the towel yet or not.

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Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Zombie Lilac

Wow, where do you live that your lilac has finished blooming already? Mine is just starting to show some color in the buds.

Your "zombie" lilac may not be dead, but personally I wouldn't think it worth trying to save, if it hasn't even leafed out when its neighbors are finished blooming. If it somehow pulled through, it will be stunted for years. And I probably would not put another lilac back in the same spot. I don't know what happened to it, but if it got diseased, there could be disease pathogens still in the soil. If not diseased, then maybe there is some combination of circumstances there that is not conducive to the lilac, maybe a low spot that holds too much moisture around the roots, not enough sun, some localized soil condition, etc. Unless you can figure out what it was and remedy it, don't put another one there.

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