The Q&A Archives: Korean lilac bush

Question: We had several Korean lilac bushes planted by our landscaper last year. We lost one and another one seems to by dying. The leaves turn brown (not brittle) and the entire branch dies. We had the first replaced with a hydrangea plant, which seems to be doing fine. The second lilac is about half gone. I don't see any insects and just don't know what is causing this. We have one more of these in our back yard and 4 in the front that seem to be doing fine. Could this be caused by disease? soil problems? animals? Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you.

Answer: Soft, brown leaves on lilacs usually indicates over watering or overly wet soils so I'd check the drainage where the lilacs are planted. When soils retain too much water, oxygen is driven out and the roots can suffocate. You might want to dig the affected lilac and either raise the soil level a little so it drains faster or try growing it in a container until it recovers. Then replant in an area that drains quickly. Wish I had more suggestions for you!

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