Monday, April 27, 2009

Garden Tidbits: Lilacs and Forsythias

Winter's done, and April's in the skies,Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes! ~Charles G.D. Roberts

Lilac bushes and forsythias are both spring favorites and I always receive questions about them. Lilacs need full sun to bloom their best. They will adapt to most soils as long as it's well drained. What other extra things can you do for your lilac? Keep the base of the bush well weeded, and add 3-4 inches of mulch as well. You can also work in compost or humus into the soil around the lilac before adding the mulch. Fertilizer really isn't necessary. One thing you may have noticed on lilac bushes is the appearance of powdery mildew. It won't kill the lilac but it's better to treat it if you can. As soon as you see the mildew apply a solution of 1/2 cup milk and 1 gallon of water to the infected areas. Place it in a spray bottle and spray the branches. It's a simple, organic remedy.

Prune your lilacs after they finish blooming. Do not wait till later in the summer or fall because it will hinder the next season's blooms.

Forsythias also grow best in full sun for the best blooms. They also adapt to most soils as long as they don't have poor drainage. They won't do well with wet feet. They are easy care shrubs but do need pruning to keep them healthy. Prune after the blooms fade. Every two years remove about a fourth of the oldest stems at ground level. New ones will grow and rejuvenate the shrub. If you have a forsythia that is old and hasn't been pruned in a very long time you may need to be a bit drastic. Prune the bush to about 4 inches from the ground in the spring. It will take 1-2 seasons before it blooms again, but it will be healthier.

On OFL we have tips on growing and using basil!

1 comment:

  1. The lilacs here in England are coming into bloom now. About a month ahead of where I'm from in Atlantic Canada. Such a gorgeous preview of the coming Summer months.

    Ali @ Moon Garden


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