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Old 07-12-2019, 01:21 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
11,641 posts, read 15,280,052 times
Reputation: 27351

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So I just got this potted bloomerang lilac through mail order a few weeks ago and it was in pretty rough shape.
I was hoping it was just the stress of the shipping, but the leaves are still turning brown and dropping. It shows new growth but as soon as the leaves are the size of my fingernail they start to turn brown too. So far it has lost about half it's leaves. It's in a southeast window where it receives filtered sunlight for most of the day, and I keep the soil lightly moist. Does anyone have any idea what's causing this? And should I be concerned about it being a disease that might affect my other plants?

I contacted the company and they said they would replace or refund if I choose, but they won't be shipping lilacs to my zone again for several more months, so I'd like to see if this one can be rescued.
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Can this lilac be saved?-20190708_094549.jpg   Can this lilac be saved?-20190708_094414.jpg  
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:19 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,710 posts, read 7,444,115 times
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It looks like it has a fungal infection. That might infect other houseplants nearby. Also, lilacs do better outdoors than indoors, and should get around 6 hours of full sunlight exposure per day. Why do you have it in a pot indoors instead of planted in the ground outside?
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:38 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
11,641 posts, read 15,280,052 times
Reputation: 27351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
It looks like it has a fungal infection. That might infect other houseplants nearby. Also, lilacs do better outdoors than indoors, and should get around 6 hours of full sunlight exposure per day. Why do you have it in a pot indoors instead of planted in the ground outside?
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I was going to harden it off before transplanting because we are in such a hot time of the year. When I noticed the leaf problem I decided to keep it indoors to keep a closer eye on it for a bit, and I didn't want it in the yard if it is a disease. The other plants I received at the same time were also somewhat stressed but are recovering nicely now.
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:30 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,710 posts, read 7,444,115 times
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When I enlarged the pictures you posted I could see what looked like some spots of fungal 'fuzz' and spores on some of the leaves. I'm wondering what is the temperature inside your house? Do you have A/C turned on and is it cool indoors? Because A/C and not enough direct sunlight can encourage fungal infections, especially if the poor thing was already stressed or infected when you first received it.

Also, was the lilac received without a container or did it come in a container and if so, is it still in the same container it came in? If it came contained and is still in the same soil/container then I think you should get it out of that soil and container. Likewise with the other plants that you got, if they are in the same soil/containers they arrived in they should all be transplanted. It's possible the soil they were in was infected.

If the lilac plant is put in clean sterile soil in a spacious temporary container with plenty of room for it to put out some lengthy roots while it's in recovery then I'd suggest you move it outdoors to harden off. Plants don't harden off indoors, they go static. Put the container in an airy location outdoors where it gets direct sunlight on it for 3 to 4 hours in the morning to kill and discourage the fungus, but will get shade or part shade in the hottest times of the day. Don't keep the soil evenly moist 24/7, instead let it dry out a bit between waterings. Not too dry to the point it starts wilting but dry enough that it will discourage new fungal growth (remember fungus thrives in constantly moist conditions) but will encourage the plant to put out more moisture-seeking roots during dry periods between waterings.

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Old 07-12-2019, 11:29 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
11,641 posts, read 15,280,052 times
Reputation: 27351
It came in a plastic bagged pot and was in transit over the weekend, so roughly four or five days sealed in bag and box. I had intended to harden it off outdoors gradually over several days, as the intended spot for it gets full sunlight until late afternoon and it's been in the upper 80's here. It was shipped from MI to TN so I didn't want to risk putting it into that kind of heat straight off. But when I saw the leaves were black on the ends I decided to keep it potted for a bit rather than going ahead with the planting. My house temp is 77f and it's getting sun through the sheers from roughly 9-3
I'll repot it with clean soil, let it dry out more, and try to find an isolated spot outside to get direct morning sunlight, and hope for the best. I haven't had a lilac since I left MI nearly 40 years ago, so I'm excited to attempt this.
The other plants were a zepherine drouhin, hostas, and clematis. All the plants arrived suffering from a lack of light but have made a good recovery, although the clematis is still somewhat leggy and pale
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:44 AM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,710 posts, read 7,444,115 times
Reputation: 18088
Good luck with the lilac, and I hope all of them will do well for you in their new climate conditions.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:05 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,734 posts, read 57,797,879 times
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Lilacs do not like to be in pots, they need to spread out their roots. Also, they don’t get enough sun indoors, they need 6-8 hours to bloom. Even in full sun in the ground they take 3-5 years to bloom.
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