6 rules for perfect lilac care
Lilacs with their unique aroma, which can not be confused with other plants, can boast a reputation as one of the easiest to grow garden shrubs. Lilac perfectly adapts to a variety of climates, settles in gardens for decades, frost-resistant, gas- and drought-resistant. But it would be a very big mistake to call a culture completely maintenance-free. After all, this shrub preserves both abundant flowering and beauty, only if you provide it with at least minimal care.
- Does lilac need care?
- Watering not only after planting
- Top dressing according to age
- Three types of pruning lilacs
- Loosening the soil should be regular
- Mulching is very important
- Persistent does not mean invulnerable
Does lilac need care?
Lilac is a shrub with an almost impeccable reputation. She copes with frosts and urban conditions. Not afraid of dust and gas contamination, not demanding on soils, adaptive to lighting. You can even use lilacs in garden design in different ways: there is a place for this beautifully flowering shrub in the alley, and in the hedges, and on the lawn, and in the flower garden or in the garden. But to plants that can be "planted and forgotten," the lilac does not apply at all.
To admire its fragrant clouds, you need to spend time annually pruning. Yes, and abundant prolonged flowering without watering, fertilizing, maintaining proper soil conditions will be impossible to achieve. Caring for lilacs is not complicated, but consists of the minimum procedures necessary for the normal development of the bush. There are important rules.
Rule 1. Watering not only after planting
Lilac is considered so hardy that it does not need regular watering. This shrub does not need systematic procedures, but this does not mean that watering for lilacs is not carried out at all. The first procedure of abundant watering after planting is not limited to care.
Watering lilacs is carried out throughout the flowering time and in the spring during the active growth of shoots (of course, only when natural precipitation is insufficient). In the summer, after flowering, watering is carried out only on the hottest days: the plant is not afraid of drought, but it still needs to be protected from overheating.
Rule 2. Nutrition depending on age
Lilacs need a different approach to feeding immediately after planting and after reaching optimal sizes. These plants can not be fed until completely rooted and in preparation for winter: lilacs are fed only during the period of active growth, in the first half of the season.
In the first year after planting and at a young age, lilacs do not need feeding. The only exception is planting in depleted soil, which simply lacks nutrients for normal growth. In this case, two top dressings per year are added for young lilacs. After the winter, when the bush shows signs of the onset of growth of young twigs, the first top dressing is performed. And the second is spent in the middle of summer: in late June or early July. From the second year after planting in early spring for any lilacs, you can make nitrogen or organic fertilizers.
Adult lilacs feed differently. From the third or fourth year, 1 time per season (most often in the early spring), 50-60 g of nitrogen fertilizers (ammonium nitrate or urea) are applied under each bush. In the summer after flowering, lilacs are fed with organic fertilizers, planting a mullein solution or ash in the soil. “Autumn” top dressing (in August-early September) is applied only once every 2-3 years using potassium-phosphorus fertilizers (30 g of phosphate and potassium fertilizers or 55-60 g of the mixture).
For any lilacs, you can mix organic and mineral fertilizers. Manure is preferred for young lilacs, humus is preferred for adults. When combined with organic chemistry, it is better to reduce a single serving of mineral fertilizers from 50-60 g to 30-40 g.
Fertilize lilacs only in cloudy weather or in the evening, after watering or rain. Fertilizers can be either dissolved in water or embedded in the soil.
Rule 3. Three types of pruning lilacs
If in some ways lilac and "simple", then just not pruned. After all, this, so beloved, shrub needs regular cleaning and shaping. Pruning begins from the third or fourth year, when skeletal branches begin to form. And a single pruning is not enough, for the lilac spend as many as three varieties of these procedures:
1. Main cropping (stimulation of flowering) is necessary for all types of lilacs without exception. In order for the bushes to bloom plentifully next year, it is necessary to trim the faded inflorescences in time, because the flower buds of this shrub are formed only on summer shoots. The main pruning is carried out immediately after flowering, and not in the fall.
2. Anti-aging pruning. It is needed only on adult and old lilacs. Timely rejuvenation eliminates the need for cardinal rejuvenation and skipping flowering. To rejuvenate, thicken, excess shoots on the bushes are cleaned annually, forming strong skeletal branches and a healthy bush with the 5th - 10th successfully located shoots.
Such rejuvenation is carried out in early spring, before the awakening of the kidneys. But if nevertheless the need arose to conduct a cardinal rejuvenation on old lilacs, then all shoots, without exception, are cut to fairly low stumps, completely removing all unnecessary thickening branches. Next year, lilac will be restored and if it releases inflorescences, then only small and solitary. But every year, with the competent formation of the bush, the lilac will bloom more and more abundantly and beautifully.
3. Forming Cut. Lilac is a shrub predominantly landscape and picturesque, and the formation of a crown, giving it a certain shape on it, is used very rarely. The only exception is the removal of root shoots, weak, growing inwards, damaged, dry shoots, which is necessary for any lilac for the formation of strong skeletal shoots.
And the formation as such is carried out only in three cases:
- in regular gardens, lilacs give a more rigorous shape, setting a growth vector from a young age and slightly cutting the shoots to limit crown growth and give a silhouette (for example, for spherical and umbrella-shaped crown shoots are removed lower and thickened upper, etc.);
- for hedges and tunnels near densely growing bushes, the top is trimmed, and on side shoots twice a year, in spring and autumn, pruning is carried out, achieving the desired outline of the hedge;
- to form a lump of lilac, they leave one central skeletal shoot, regularly “clean” it from the side branches, and form a crown at the top in a “cloud”, limiting its growth.
Rule 4. Loosening of the soil should be regular.
In order for lilacs to please with abundant flowering for many years and not suffer from any weather conditions, it is necessary to maintain the soil loose, to constantly renew its air and water permeability. Without loosening the soil, lilacs will suffer from soil compaction.
Loosening the soil for lilacs is carried out 3 or 4 times per season, combining it with weeding weeds. The first cultivation is carried out in early spring. It is better to carry out aeration after heavy rainfall or watering. But it is extremely important not to overdo it: for lilacs, the soil is loosened only 4-7 cm and not deeper.
Rule 5. Mulching is very important.
To simplify the care of lilacs as much as possible and to achieve better moisture retention, protect the root system from overheating, maintain the quality of the soil and its structure only if you do not forget to constantly maintain the mulching layer in the near-trunk circle of lilacs. The first mulching for this shrub is created when planting, or rather, after heavy watering. For lilacs, the mulching layer should be from 5 to 7 cm. In the future, the mulch layer is renewed and constantly maintained, updating at least 2 times a year - in spring and autumn.
As mulching materials for lilacs, it is preferable to use:
- half-ripened leaves;
For young seedlings in the first winter, it is desirable to create a new protective mulching-covering layer of leaves or peat up to 10 cm high.
Rule 6. Persistent - does not mean invulnerable
Despite its reputation as an amazingly hardy shrub, lilacs suffer from both diseases and pests. Moreover, problems in healthy and strong bushes can appear both in the neighborhood with infected plants, and in unsuccessful seasons, because the care was insufficient to compensate for the heat and drought. And to cure the lilac will be very difficult if you do not notice the defeat in time. Inspect the bushes regularly, especially in the second half of the season and notice the slightest signs of these unpleasant problems.
Of the diseases on lilacs, late blight and powdery mildew are most common. The sooner a problem is identified, the easier it will be to deal with it. With a severe defeat of the lilac, it will be difficult to cure it even with cardinal pruning and regular treatments. It is possible to fight diseases on this shrub with a simple Bordross mixture, and various narrowly targeted fungicides.
Of harmful insects on lilacs, leaf-eating pests and ticks are more common. Moreover, the spread of these pests leads to a rapid loss of decorativeness and, in practice, to “baldness”. It is necessary to deal with insects with systemic insecticides: narrowly targeted agents are effective, but while you are struggling with one problem, other pests can settle on a weakened lilac.