Lilacs in Pots

Asked August 9, 2018, 9:36 PM EDT

We rent so my new lilacs are in large pots. The leaves have started turning black, could this be due to all the rain we've had in the last couple of weeks? What can I do to make it healthy again?

Davidson County North Carolina

1 Response

As a general rule, lilacs are not easy to grow in our climate. They do not like high heat or humidity and they much prefer colder and longer winters than we have. Growing them in containers makes these problems even worse - especially when it comes to summer heat. I will not say it is impossible but they are never likely to be very happy. I would start by limiting direct sunlight, preferably keeping them shaded from midday onwards. Make certain they never dry out but at the same time not overwatering. Ideally the top surface of soil should dry between waterings and make sure your container drains well. You can add a fertilizer once a month during the growing season (during spring and summer). The blackening leaves are more likely due to high heat. Clean up any leaves that fall and get rid of them in case there are fungal issues, spraying this time of year for fungus is not recommended since the leaves would normally be dropping soon anyway. Hope this helps.