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Lilac Bushes are wilting they are brand new

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by MOMMYSGARDEN2 on June 14, 2006 08:09 AM
Hello, I just opened a 12X12 area with roses bushes and 2 lilac bushes. One lilac bush is doing awesom, it already has blooms. the other one is wilting though? the soil is wet does that matter? help me they were bought a local garden store.

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Annette Yared
by joclyn on June 14, 2006 08:50 AM
do you have them planted in the same spot? if not, maybe the soil (and the sunlight) is different in the spot where the one that is wilting is? if the soil is different, you might want to adjust your watering.

you could also give it a treatment of root stimulant - that would help boost the root growth.
by MOMMYSGARDEN2 on June 14, 2006 10:25 AM
they are in the same box. can they get too much water?

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Annette Yared
by Budman on June 15, 2006 05:34 AM
I had a very similar situation with my two Lilacs. One was doing great and the other was not. It had made it through the winter and had new growth, but just did not seem very healthy. Someone here suggested using Plant-tone from Epsoma (spelling?) as they heard it did wonders for lilacs. It is made by the same co. as Hollytone, if you are familar with that. I just pulled the mulch back and put about a cup full around the root base, covered the mulch back over and it has done much better after the last two rains. I definitely agree with Joclyn though, you should always use a root stimulant fert. when planting new trees and shrubs. Once your roots are established, the plant will have a better chance at survival. Both products are available at Lowes, Home depot, etc..You also may find that the 12 by 12 area will fill up fast when those plants take off. Unless they are a dwarf variety, Lilacs tend to get pretty big.
by luis_pr on June 17, 2006 06:05 PM
Here are some possibilities to consider....

1. If the plant transpires water faster than it can absorb it, the result is wilting. So what can trigger this? Not enough water, too much sun, hot weather and windy weather. Most susceptible plants will be those recently planted/transplanted and those with big leaves (think hydrangeas).

In your case, one plant may be planted in a more windy location or one plant may not getting as much water as the other.

2. Lilacs require at least 1 inch of water per week but this amount increases if you have sandy soil; it increases the further south you go in the map; and it increases the closer you get to the summer months.

So, try to determine how much water they are receiving now. Next time you water both plants, put some open/empty tuna cans besides each plant, let the sprinkler system activate and observe how much water they get. Adjust the watering as deemed appropriate.

If you use drip irrigation, make sure that the rootball of both plants is getting wet; otherwise, water could be falling nearby but the rootball would be as dry as sand.

Decrease watering times as temps go down in the Fall but continue watering through the winter provided your soil does not freeze.

3. Here in Texas, I have to mulch 2-3" for about 1-2 feet away from the main trunk; the plant also cannot get sun after 12pm-ish.

3. Rootbound plants have roots that tend to circle in a loop and refuse to grow outwards from the main trunk. Plants that have been sitting in the plastic pots for eons suffer from this. The roots get bigger as time passes but they get no more additional water. The plant can also suffer from malnutrition as well since the minerals near the rootball get consumed first.

4. One of the plants can be suffering from a fungus called Verticillium wilt. You may need assistance of your local ag. extension service to make this diagnosis. I am not aware of chemical/organic controls for this fungus.

5. Do a soil test looking for additional problems. You do not want the PH Level near the lilacs to become very acid since lilacs like alkaline soil (Ph of 6 or higher).

Good luck Annette,
by joclyn on June 18, 2006 05:00 PM
another trick to do with anything that is newly transplanted is to water at the base of the plant/shrub/tree and then water further out at what is called the drip-line.

it's the area just under the outermost reach of the leaves/branches. a good soaking of this area forces the roots to reach out and get to it...which helps the plant to become well-established.

i tend to do the drip-line first, go off and do something else while it soaks in and then do a second soaking of the drip line and then put some water directly above the root ball. every couple of days for the first 6 weeks.

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