The Q&A Archives: Deformed Lilac Leaves

Question: I purchased in February 2000 a Lavender Lady Lilac Shrub, in a five gallon pot. The leaves on the bush grew. Unfortunately, the leaves aren't shaped flat and 'spade' like, the way most healthy lilac shrubs leaves are. Mine are small and rippled. Can this be corrected? What did I do wrong when I planted this little shrub? Will this inhibit flowers in the future? Will the flowers be deformed as well?

Answer: When leaves are deformed it's usually an indication of stress, or of insect activity. If aphids feed on the leaf buds, the unfolding leaves can appear crinkled or puckered. Since you've only recently installed this lilac in your landscape, I suspect it's a little stressed. It should become established by the end of the season and produce regular looking leaves. Blossoms will probably be normal looking, as well. Lilac's can take a few years to produce blooms, so if yours doesn't flower next spring, just be patient with it - eventually it will.

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