HoneyBerry
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Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Did my Cali Lilac kill my Sky Pencils?

I planted a California Lilic next to my foundation and near 3 sky pencils.
It has been a few years and the C. L. is now thriving but 2 of my Sky Pencils died and the 3rd Sky Pencil is starting to die too. To top it off, the laundry room drain that runs underneath it all is clogged. I am wondering if the C.L. could be causing these problems. The C.L. is a very large shrub now and it started to lean foward from it's own weight after a heavy rain last week. It is not a good time to prune so I'm not sure what to do about that also. Tie it to the house? The C.L. is beautiful - Periwinkle Blue - but I love/loved my Sky Pencils too and I need my laundry drain. I haven't had the clogged drain problem investigated yet. My washer is also acting up so I am going to the laundrymat for now. I'm thinking that I should transplant the C.L. in September.
I also had a Japanese Maple die. It is/was close to some Darkstar shrubs and I think they are in the California Lilac family. The J.M. did fine at first but died when the Darkstars grew in size.
Do any of you have experience with California Lilacs? If so, I could use some advice.
ISFP "The Artist"

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applestar
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Re: Did my Cali Lilac kill my Sky Pencils?

Why do you think the clogged drain is the shrub’s fault? Do you think roots have gotten in it? NOT lint, hair, and various other stuff that usually go down the laundry drain?

Also, IF it turns out that the CL didn’t cause the drain issues, I don’t know why you would move the shrub that is doing well. It seems like it’s the others - Sky Pencil and Japanese Maple ...which are NOT native to your area and slow-growing to boot... that are the problems as far as growing them in your garden. These foreign imports need to be coddled and given the kind of care they need to thrive.

It’s probably best to find another location(s) in your garden that is/are more suited to what THEY need. It sounds like you already found the best spot for the California Lilac. :wink:
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HoneyBerry
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Posts: 1113
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Did my Cali Lilac kill my Sky Pencils?

Thank you for your input.
I already tried drain cleaner but it didn't work. I'm going to have the plumber guy pressure clean the drain to see if it might be just a typical clog. But that CL is getting huge and it is next to the foundation. I am wondering about the roots now that it has gotten so big. Silly me - I didn't do any research before planting it. I would only need to move the CL if it is clogging the pipe or hurting the foundation. The Sky Pencils are already dead and I don't plan to get any more of them. They were doing so well and then suddenly died, one at a time, so it seems like something happened at the root zone. If that is the case, I am concerned about the foundation. The foundation looks okay though.
I am not very knowledgable about invasive plants. I'm haphazard about my plant selections and usually pick things up from sale racks. I do love Japanese Maples. I don't plan to buy any more of them though.
I do have some nice Rhodies. I'm pretty sure they are native. My red rhodie is spectacular and is in bloom now.
ISFP "The Artist"

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