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Keyword Search Results for:
lilacs

8 Found

Question: 750-2012
I bought two "purple-outlined with white" flowered lilacs. This spring one came up all white, while the other one produced purpled flowers with a white border around the flower--very pretty. Is there anything I can add to the soil to bring the white one back to purple color? Janet

Mort's Answer:
Most often F1 hybrids are the best traits of parentage and 100% true. Second generation plants are 50% true. Fertilizer will not correct this deviation. You can add a pinch epsom salts but I do not expect that the color will change.

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Question: 388-3410
What do I use to fertilize my lilacs? I've been told that they like lime. This year it looks like there will be a lot of blooms but last year was not good at all. I have close to 20 bushes of varied colors from white, pink, purple (of many shades) and blue and would like to keep the healthy? Alice, NE CT

Mort's Answer:
Proper pruning is a prioity on lilacs. Half of first year shoots should be cut back to the crown. Alldead flowers should be removed. Branches that are over an inch should also be cut out. Since lilacs bloom primarily on two and three year old wood, you are experiencing waves of blooms. Lime is an addition that is welcomed by all acidic soils.

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Question: 422-3410
My lilacs are not giving a lot of blooms. How can I get more flowers? Jane, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Syringa vulgaris or the common lilac need continual trimming to get good blooms. Each year half of the new pencil shoots should be cut down to the ground. Any stem over an inch round should be cut out. Since this may be the bulk of your plant, you can do this over two or three years. Add some bonemeal to the soil to replace the phosphorus.

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Question: 957-2513
When is the best time to transplant my lilacs? They are about three feet and just finished blooming. I planted them four years ago. Rose, Taylorville, CT

Mort's Answer:
All deciduous plants cannot be dug up and transplanted until they have lost their leaves in the fall or following spring. They should be easily dug because their root ball is still tightly formed. Dig a hole that is about 20 inches wide and deep. Fill with good rich soil after the root ball is placed to within an inch of the top of the hole. Do not use any fertilizer in the hole. Pat down the soil and water throughly and leave the rest to mother nature.

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Question: 974-2913
When can I transplant my lilac bushes? Julie, Templeton, MA

Mort's Answer:
When the maple leaves turn color, your lilacs will also be draining their sap. You need not be too concerned about getting a root ball with lilac. Larger plants are sufficiently well spread to insure a good transplant. Recent planted specimens will have a ball intact. Do not put any fertilizer in the new hole. Place a small handful off 5-10-10 on top of the soil.

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Question: 1014-3813
My lilacs get a fungus that is usually gray in color every summer. What can I do? Ursula, Uncasville, CT

Mort's Answer:
You probably have a shade tree nearby that is loaded with aphids during the summer. The honey droppings create a medium in which the fungus thrives. You can hire an arborist to spray the tree for aphids. It would require a second and possibly a third application. You can spray yourself with a fungicide for the lilac. Spraying the lilac will not get rid of the sticky and shiny honeydew but would be less unsightly. Lastly, you can simply ignore the process. The lilac will survive the annual onslaught. Someone could cut down the menacing tree.

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Question: 1198-4614
My five year old lilac is only there feet high with few flowers. When do I prune it? Louise, North Windham, CT

Mort's Answer:
Lilacs bloom primarily on two and three year old wood. The best time to prune is late summer after the blooms have dissipated. I would not prune at all this year. You should add some phosphorus to your soil with bone meal or 5-10-10 fertilizer. Make a dozen holes in a circle at leaf drop. Holes should be 8-10 inches deep. Fill them with the fertilizer. This should be good for five years.

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Question: 1263-2515
I have a lilac bush which has gotten quite tall. Could I top it off and cut it back by three feet or so or would that be detrimental to the plant? Jane.

Mort's Answer:
Taking off three feet off a six foot bush will not hurt but is not the best way to prune lilacs. Syringa vulgaris needs to have have the new pencil shoots removed down to the ground. Any branch over an inch should also be removed each year. Since the common purple lilac blooms primarily on two and three year old wood, this will keep the bush in bloom every year. Pruning should be done after the plant has dried flowers. Hybrid lilacs like Little Kim usually do not need pruning. You can just remove the dead heads.

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