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Article: Who Did That? Identifying Insect Damage: Wrinkled lilac bush leaves

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Forum: Article: Who Did That? Identifying Insect DamageReplies: 1, Views: 6
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Lexington, KY

July 17, 2009
3:41 AM

Post #6829362

I have a huge lilac bush that did not bloom this year, it is 3 years old.
The leaves (most of them) are all wrinkled and curly, but the bush seems to be thriving.
It is growing well and seems to be healthy, except for the wrinkle, curling leaves.
The leaves also have a whiteish powder looking coating on them.
What can I do to prevent this problem from killing my beautiful bush?
Please help,
Thank you so much,
Gail Lopez

P.S. I live in central KY if that helps any,,,THANKS!
Uncasville, CT
(Zone 6a)

July 17, 2009
10:30 AM

Post #6829848

Hi Gail,
Your lilac has powdery mildew, a very common affliction to deciduous ornamentals. It is not a fatal condition, but it WILL cause early defoliation and the shrub will look unsightly.
The curled leaves are the first indication of fungal infection, followed by the white powder you see on the remaining leaves. Powdery mildew thrives in moderately warm, moist, shady, overcrowded conditions, so to some degree, you can't do much about the weather-related factors.
It will not harm a mature plant such as yours, so I would advise leaving it alone. Next year before the leaves begin to emerge, prune it carefully to allow good air circulation, and clear away any other shrubs encroaching upon it.
This fact sheet from Ohio State University tells you all you need to know. Good luck!

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