WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY LILACS?

Many people across central Minnesota have been noticing that their Lilac bushes are developing some strange symptoms, and are curious if the problems being encountered are going to be serious problems in the future.

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Lilacs have been reported throughout the area with areas of brown, crinkly leaves and leaf drop occurring. Will homeowners be able to find a treatment for this problem, or will they lose their beautiful Lilac plants?

SYMPTOMS OF LEAF SPOT & BLIGHT 

Most leaf spot symptoms are caused by fungi called Pseudocercospora spp.  The good news is that it won't kill your plant. The bad news is, if the plant is continuously infected, your Lilac may be susceptible to other diseases which COULD kill it, so we need to take care of the issue if Leaf Spot is the problem.

Leaf Spot thrives in humid and wet conditions. The symptoms of Leaf Spot include:

  • Brown Spots on leaves, starting on the edge
  • Leaf curling
  • Leaves will drop off when the infection becomes too much for the plant to support them

TREATMENTS AND MANAGEMENT OF LEAF SPOT

If you do not try to treat the issue, the Pseudocercospora spp could overwinter and then reinfect your Lilac in the next growing season as well. So it's best that during your fall cleanup, you remove fallen branches and leaves from around your infected plants. Then, in the spring,  apply a fungicide to the new leaves to help prevent it from happening again.

After the plant is done blooming next year, pruning can also be done to help create a drier environment and increase airflow to your Lilacs.

CONFIRM THE PROBLEM

Before you assume that Leaf Spot is the culprit, you may want to send a sample of your infected Lilac to The University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic.  They will be able to confirm what the problem is so that the proper steps can be taken. You can learn more about the health of your Lilacs and other plants by clicking HERE now.

 

 

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