Page 1 of 1

All of my Lilacs are dying, please help!!

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:54 am
by laramik
I have 10 lilacs that line the rear of my yard, I bought this house from my parents this year and these lilacs we doing fine for 5 years until last season they started to look like this. This year has been dry but i have watered when needed and all of my other bushes that line the yard are doing well. There is no scale that I can see on them but this year they seem to be even worse than last year. I did not do any pruning at all to them but my mother did 3 years ago. The next season they started to look like this. Please help, I cant afford to replace these and they were beautiful not long ago. Here is a link to the photos.


Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:21 am
by rainbowgardener
Sorry, you haven't gotten a response. I didn't jump in, because I don't really have an answer, but since no one else did either, I'll do what I can.

Your lilacs really do not look good. Not sure they are dying, but certainly struggling. Lilacs don't need pruning, but a healthy lilac should be able to withstand a good bit of pruning with out being injured or caused to suffer like yours.

They look like they are not getting something they need. That is, they don't particularly look diseased, just... deprived. They are next to a tall, solid fence. How much sun do they get? What is your soil like? Do you fertilize?

Have you checked the pH (acidity) of your soil? Lilacs do best in neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Lilacs thrive and volunteer themselves in my alkaline soil. If yours is acid, it is probably slowly killing them, just as acid loving shrubs die a slow lingering death in my soil. What are the shrubs that are doing well? Knowing what thrives in your soil will tell us more about your soil conditions.

Maybe this will bump your post, so someone with more answers will jump in... (Luis, where are you? :? )

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:19 am
by laramik
Thanks so much for your reply. Evergreens seem to flourish very well in my yard. I have 2 junipers that do extremely well. I did fertilize the lilacs in early summer this year, I used an organic fertilizer that my local nursery recommended for them. Cant think of the name right now and I'm not at home. Also have burning bushes that do very well in the same vicinity. The lilacs do get a ton of sun. I know it might not look like it because of the fence but they do. The path of the sun basically goes directly over them morning noon and evening. On thing that may be important is that people empty their lawn clippings on the back side of my fence. I'm wondering if that could have something to do with it. Hopefully this info helps. Thanks again for your reply. I've really began taking a huge interest in gardening these last few years and I'm sure I will be on here quite a bit in the future.

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:27 am
by applestar
Hm... I was going to ask what was on the other side of the fence and whether there is a chance herbicide/weed killer was sprayed back there, and was going to ask if there are other shrubs along the same fence that are similarly struggling.

Maybe accumulation of herbicide treated grass clippings?

But if evergreens do well then it maybe pH issue like rainbow said.
What was your mother's regimen for the lilacs? Maybe she applied lime every spring/fall etc.?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:42 am
by laramik
Aha! Well actually there were a ton of pricker bushes on the opposite side of the fence 1.5 years ago. Just hung up with my Dad who stated that he sprayed back there with Round Up Extended Control the season before they started to look like this. Also, it may be important to note that where the grass clippings are dumped the most is where the bushes are performing the worst.