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Hi Linda, We had a pink Canadian Lilac planted in our yard about 10 years ago. It was infected by spider mites last summer and could not be saved so we cut it way back. This year these unusual leaves came out of the trunk with no blooms. I have heard of different root stocks being used to graft flowering plants to the trunk. Is this one off them? Should we just remove it? Thanks Marian


Lilac Care and Pruning Dear Marian,
I'm not sure what is growing in that spot now, but I would dig out the stem and all of the roots and start all over again. Lilac's tend to grow a bit densely in the center of the shrub because the flowers are usually cut off from the ends of the branches when they are brought inside. Over time, this cutting promotes the thick center growth that creates the perfect moist, dark environment that encourages insects and disease to take hold. When you plant a new lilac, make sure the lilac is properly pruned and thinned to allows sunlight and air to penetrate the center of the plant thus discouraging insects. The best time to do this is right after the shrub is finished blooming. If you prune later in the season, you will be cutting off the flower buds for the following year.

NOTE: Lilacs tend to get Powdery Mildew, especially if we have a wet spring and early hot/humid summer. Proper thinning of the lilac improves air circulation through the plant and increases sunlight reaching the inside of the plant which helps discourage mildew growth.

Thank you for your question.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.


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