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rainbowgardener
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Re: Severe Cut-back of Lilac

Well, in this case there is a technical term, ootheca, which is a praying mantis egg case. But eggs work, because inside the ootheca are a bunch of eggs. Unlike some other insects, what hatches out of the eggs/ ootheca is not larvae, but a whole bunch of tiny miniature praying mantises. Very cute! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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

Re: Severe Cut-back of Lilac

I looked back at where you said we have room for one more little flowering shrub for attracting hummingbirds. Actually some of the best hummingbird attractors are vines. It is easy to have space for a little trellis somewhere. If you want something that will stay small, cardinal climber and the related cypress vines are annuals that need to be started over from seed each year. They are very dainty and delicate and only grow about 8-10 feet tall, so they don't need anything sturdy as trellis. I have one on a little trellis that's just a couple feet tall and I just keep weaving it all around and through the trellis. They get covered in little red trumpet shaped flowers that hummingbirds love.

If you don't want to start over every year and can provide sturdier trellis, you can plant trumpet honeysuckle (lonicera semperviren) or trumpet creeper. The trumpet honeysuckle is more manageable. The trumpet creeper spends the first few years getting established, doing nothing much, not even blooming, and then it takes off and gets gigantic. Do NOT plant it next to your house unless you want to spend the rest of your life pulling it off your roof and out of your gutters. But if you have a space for it somewhere away from the house, it is a very nice habitat plant. After it blooms, it makes long slender seed pods, which are very hard and impossible to open. They stay on the plant for months and only open after there have been some hard freezes. Then they open to reveal hundreds of paper thin seeds which finches and other birds like. In mid winter when there is very little other food around, birds congregate on the trumpet creeper vine (which stays conveniently up above the snow) for those seeds.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

wysteriangnome
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:03 am
Location: So.Cal/Zone 7 WesternGarden

Re: Severe Cut-back of Lilac

I just got back on computer, busy for days in the yard. Thank you so much for your responses, I will check out the plants in my Sunset book. We have a beautiful bushy plant in the yard that I saw a hummingbird on today. I don't know what it is, my aunt gave it to me (potted) and when I went to plant it in the yard, the soil in the pot was like cement, so I couldn't break it up...however it has grown so much this year. :P I'm pretty sure it was very happy to get out of that pot & loosen its roots over the past 2 1/2 yrs. I will take a photo and post it for identification. (dark orange flowers, blooms spring & now in early fall)

Thanks again

wysteriangnome
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Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:03 am
Location: So.Cal/Zone 7 WesternGarden

Re: Severe Cut-back of Lilac

Ootheca, cool. I love them. I have found tiny ones in the yard before...I agree, think they are the cutest little insects on earth. None have hatched yet, but I think I hear movement in a couple of them. This is probably a bad time of year to be hatching them though. :( Hope they get out in time to hibernate, it's getting cold at night. Next year I will definitely order more earlier, in the spring.

Appreciate all the information & help Rainbow. :D

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