Lilacs can be so beautiful and this is why they have become so popular throughout the world. If you have recently noticed that some of the leaves on your lilacs are turning brown, you might be very concerned about what is happening.
It’s good that you recognized that there is an issue because this is likely a serious problem known as bacterial blight.
Bacterial blight is a very common issue that lilacs experience but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t super dangerous. Lilacs that are going through bacterial blight issues can cause damage to all types of lilacs no matter what kind you happen to own.
It first presents itself as brown spots on your leaves and you’re definitely going to want to take action.
What Can Be Done to Stop Bacterial Blight?
The best course of action that you can take when your lilac is showing signs of bacterial blight is to give it an aggressive pruning.
You’re going to need to cut back all of the diseased sections of the plant so that you can save the rest of it. If you don’t do this, the entire lilac could wind up withering away and dying.
Over time, bacterial blight is going to spread to the rest of the lilac and there won’t be anything that you can do at that point. While the spots are still brown, it’s going to be crucial to go through with this pruning process.
Bacterial blight progresses when the brown spots turn black and they will eventually reach out to the stems before your plant will start to wither.
It might seem to be a shame to have to cut your lilac back so aggressively, but it’s really the only course of action that you can take to fix things. You’re going to need to be very thorough with your pruning process to save the plant.
Don’t hesitate to get this done if you want your plant to survive and eventually be able to thrive again.
To get the best results, you should try to prune at least twelve inches below the bacterial blight. It might even be best to go just a bit further to ensure that it won’t be able to spread to the rest of the lilac.
So long as you do this, you should be able to save your plant.
Can Bacterial Blight Be Prevented?
Yes, bacterial blight can be prevented if you take the right steps and this mostly involves planting a resistant lilac. Finding disease-resistant versions of lilacs that you can plant will allow you to feel more confident that they will be fine.
You can find lilacs that are resistant to bacterial blight as well as another condition known as powdery mildew.
Powdery mildew is different from bacterial blight but it’s something that causes your lilac leaves to turn gray or white. More accurately, you’ll likely find gray or white spots on the leaves that will start to become more prevalent over time.
The spots might become more solid and form a film if the condition worsens, and this can be just as problematic as bacterial blight in many ways.
It’s good to have a lilac that is resistant to both of these diseases just to make things easier for yourself. When your lilac gets powdery mildew issues, it will be tough to fix things.
It’s also more susceptible to powdery mildew problems when it is kept in warm and humid places under shade.
You can fix powdery mildew but it can kill your plant if you don’t take action fast enough. In some cases, you will need to use a very aggressive fungicide that is meant to kill powdery mildew. This is usually only meant to solve severe problems where the plant is at risk of dying.
If you manage to find disease-resistant versions of lilacs to plant, you won’t have to deal with these problems moving forward. Those who are more interested in saving their current lilacs will just have to take the provided advice for fixing things.
You can turn things around but it might take some effort on your part to get rid of either bacterial blight or powdery mildew issues.
Potential Insect Problems
Another thing to look out for will be insect problems since they can cause lilac leaves to yellow. Generally, it’s more likely that bacterial blight is your problem when you’re dealing with brown leaves but it’s still good to know about the insects that can become an issue as well.
Sometimes caterpillars known as borers will cause problems for your lilac by burrowing into stems. This can sometimes cause lilac stems to break. It’s an annoying issue but pruning the oldest sections of your lilac can help to keep them from wanting to mess with it since they prefer older wood.
Oystershell scales can be problematic for lilacs too because they like to suck the juices from them. This can make the lilac leaves wither over time.
Pruning can help to keep problems from spreading, but you can take other measures to keep insects away from your lilac if you would like to.
Some people apply special oils or pesticides to their lilacs to keep insects from wanting to go near them. You can decide whether or not it is necessary to go this far.
It’s definitely going to be able to solve your problem but you will need to consider whether any pesticide that you use will be harmful to any other plants that you have nearby.
Now that you know about the potential problems that your lilac will face, it’ll be a lot easier to fix any issues. You can protect your lilac effectively by knowing how to deal with both insects and diseases.
This should allow you to just focus on enjoying it to the fullest.
Hopefully, this little informative article gave you all of the information that you need to know. If your lilac leaves have turned brown, you can turn things around and get it healthy again. Just take a deep breath and do what must be done to save the plant.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.