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Root Rots

(June 2012)

QuestionI had a beautiful Lilac Bush that was just gorgeous Easter day. It had more blooms than it ever has. We planted it 6 years ago. It came through the summer heat last year just fine, and then within two weeks after Easter, the bush was dead.  The leaves were all dried up and curled. No sign,  that I could see of bugs. Could you tell me what could cause this? I have another lilac bush 30 feet away, and it is fine so far.


AnswerThe fact that it died so quickly indicates something has either killed the roots or girdled it at the soil line.  It could be either a root rot or borers. Check the plant at the soil line for signs of borers, holes in the stem.  If you have a heavy soil and it got overwatered it  could be a root rot. When you remove the plant, check the root system. Is it full and white, or black and slimy?  Is there any odor?  These are all indications of root rot.  If you still can’t determine any cause, take it to your local county extension office to send to our disease diagnostic lab.

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