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Old 16-07-2007, 05:48 PM posted to rec.gardens
Goldlexus Goldlexus is offline
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Mar 2007
Posts: 23
Default California Lilac looks like it is dying :(

I am not in California, sorry for not mentioning that in my op, I am in
Oregon we have had below average rains but it did rain considerably during
the winter. The plant is about 8 or 9 years old but I have also read they
can live up to 25-30 years so not sure that is it.

TOTB: They are beautiful plants! When they bloom they are glorious! A huge
purple (our is purple) curtain of flowers (and bees the bush literally hums
with bees) Right now it is very sad looking and I am quite upset about it.
It is my favorite plant. They can grow very tall, ours is at least 9 feet
tall, maybe taller.

"David E. Ross" wrote in message
On 7/15/2007 3:52 PM, mleblanca wrote:
On Jul 15, 1:45 pm, "Goldlexus" wrote:
My cal. lilac is turning brownish. I have never had to water it during
summer and it has always been very green a lovely all season long. This
it is starting to turn a brownish color and looks like it has lost a lot
leaves. Our neighbors sprinkler system has a leak and was leaking well
a week before they turned it off. The didn't even know it was leaking,
I had to go over and tell them. The neighbor still hasn't fixed their
they just turn their sprinkler system on/off manually but have forgotten
last week for 2 days. Our property got the run off from the leak right
my lilac is. Would too much water cause this? Well it rebound?

Yes, it could very well be the problem. Calif. Lilac, Ceannothus
needs to have perfect drainage and dry soil in the summer. If it has
soaking wet for several days/weeks it has probably developed root rot.
If you can keep it dry from now on, it may recover, but maybe not.
Some cultivars and more tolerant of water than others, but that
like a lot of water for a long time............not good.
I hope it recovers; there is no blue like that of a ceanothus.

mleblanca's reply might be correct. However, two other issues should be

First of all, Ceanothus is generally not a long-lived shrub. Sunset
indicates 5-10 years is typical. It might be dying of old age.

Then there is the fact that we are having a record-breaking drought
affecting much of Caliofrnia. Although Ceanothus generally survives
quite well on only the moisture from winter rains, there was not enough
rain this past winter. Thus, some supplemental watering could have been
beneficial -- but in the winter, not now.


David E. Ross

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