The Q&A Archives: Lilacs

Question: My lilacs have started to wilt off. The leaves turn a brownish black,and the lilac flowers wilt off and die before they can bloom. This seems to only be effecting the older lilacs, there are younger ones in the same vicinity. They seem to be unaffected

Answer: Sounds like a bacterial blight, especially if the flowers become limp and dark brown and then turn black, without opening. If so, the infected parts of the plant should be pruned out and destroyed and a copper based fungicide should be sprayed on the remaining plant parts. Be sure to sterilize your pruners by dipping in rubbing alcohol when you've finished pruning so you don't help spread the disease to the healthy plants.

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