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  1. #1
    Freebies Make My Day
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    Question Lilac Bushes ~ Info needed

    Just wondering, any info needed.

    1 Just cut some, but they are looking kinda WEAK
    2 I stole the cuttings for across the street. HOW can I take part of this tree & start my own?????? Any tree/bush for that matter.
    3) Uses for the flowers, while they bloom, the smell just relaxes me.


    Hope Everyone Is Enjoying The Day. Best Wishes From MN ~ Pamela

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  3. #2
    Deal GURU
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    Default Re: Lilac Bushes ~ Info needed

    I never tried to start a bush from a lilac cutting. But I have started a lilac off of someone else's bush. If they have a nice big well established bush, underneath it will be many little starts. You just need to dig one of those up roots and all and plant it. I was walking through Home Depot Tuesday and they had a couple lilac bushes marked down to $5 so I nabbed one. I love Lilacs! this was a nice sized one that already had several lilacs on it so I won't have to wait a couple years for a little starter to take off.

  4. #3
    south bend IN cat lady
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    Default Re: Lilac Bushes ~ Info needed

    I doubt you can root a cutting. its like brchbell says you need the roots.

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    Default Re: Lilac Bushes ~ Info needed

    I started a lilac tree from a new shoot at my mother's home. Just look around the bottom of the bush and get a health shoot with lots of leaves on it. Dig it up and transplant it. It may need to be babied for the first couple of years, but it is sooooo worth it. It is the bush that I made mud patties in as a little girl. So it was very sentimental to me. Good Luck!

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Lilac Bushes ~ Info needed

    With the cutting you have -- is it a flower cutting? Or, is it a stem? The type of cutting makes a big difference. Here is a suggestion you could try, it might work: Take an aspirin tablet and mash it up, cut the end of your cutting at a slant (about 45% angle), coat the slanted cut with the aspirin wrap it up in a wet towel put it in a plastic bag; keep it moist and out of sunlight. It would take a while but it might make roots. It might be worth a try anyway.

    Here are a few ways to propagate Lilacs that I know:

    You can grow Lilacs from seed, although this is not the common approach. At the end of the season, you can harvest the seed from the dead flowers after they have dried, but before they fall out of the seed pods onto the ground. Growing from seed takes time and patience--we are talking five to six or more years here.

    On the lilac branch the hard bark covered area is called the hardwood and the smooth new growth is the soft wood.

    You can grow lilacs from soft wood cuttings (pieces of stem cut off after the lilacs finish blooming) however, growing from cuttings is very difficult. There is a very narrow window of opportunity for taking the cuttings from the plant. The new, very tender growths must be removed from the plant when new growth has reached a length of 4 inches but not more than 6 inches. Do not allow these cuttings to dry before or during the rooting process. Remove the lower leaves and dip the freshly cut end into talc containing rooting hormone. Immediately place that cutting into a prepared hole in a pot filled with peat based potting soil. (Prepare the hole before inserting the cutting so that the talc is not rubbed off.) Firm the moist potting soil around the base of the cutting after it is inserted. Repeat this process with several (I usually have at least 5 but have had a dozen) cuttings so that there is a chance that one or a few will succeed in forming roots [even that doesn't always work--I have had a lot of failures,- like my butter yellow one (he never put out seed or shoots and wasn't big enough for layering, so the only chance I had was cuttings--and I lost the variety.] It may take 6 to 8 weeks for roots to form. Keep the cutting in the shade and keep it moist but not too wet by misting them several times a day. You could put them in a cold frame or I have put a plastic bottle (with the bottom cut off) over the pot (creating a greenhouse affect), I check the plant to see if it needs water twice a day (remove cap, water if needed, replace cap) leaving the cap off when I water in the morning and put it back on when I water in the evening. I do this to make sure the plants don't overheat inside the bottle. Water only if the soil inside is dry, you do not want it wet. Once you have a good root system you can plant it out in the yard.

    You can take hardwood cuttings of lilac by cutting off eight-inch sections of the hard wood stems of the lilac no bigger around than a pencil and cut at an angle where the leaf meets the twig; and stick them in a trench about 4 inches deep and cover. Keep watered and by next season many of the cuttings should have rooted. This has worked but only on the old wild varieties.


    Layering is a slow process for increasing lilac plants but is another way to get starts. It is rooting a new plant while the stem is still attached to the parent plant. (The new plants are identical to the parent, even if the parent plant was grafted.) Start layering by working peat or leaf-mold and sand into the soil where the branch is to be layered. Next, make a slanting 2-inch cut on the upper side of the branch about a foot from the tip. Dust rooting stimulant on the cut. Bend the branch down, and fasten it to the ground at a point between the trunk and the wound weighing it down with a large stone. Bend the tip upright at the wound, and as you do, twist the tip a half-turn to open it. Then mound 3 or 4 inches of firmly packed soil over the wound. Place straw or leaf mulch on the mound, and water frequently. If you layer in the spring, the branch should develop roots by the following spring. If you layer in the fall, roots should develop by the second spring. When roots have developed, you can cut the new plant free from the parent. Leave the new plant in place for 3 weeks to recover from the shock of being cut. Then transplant it to a nursery bed or pot and tend it for a year or more. To prevent water loss that can kill the new rooted layers, prune one-third of their original length from all side branches as soon as you plant them in the nursery bed and screen the new plants to shade them from the sun. You can remove the screen after the first winter. By then they should be strong enough to transplant.


    The most commonly used, easiest (most successful) method to get new lilacs from the old, is to dig up the suckers just before they start leafing out in the spring or just after the leaves have dropped in the fall. At these two times, the lilac will transplant easily and establish itself in its new bed pretty quickly. Look on the ground around the lilac for new shoots. Select shoots which are one to two feet tall. Take a shovel and insert the blade on the side away from the mother plant, lifting the shoot. Just lift the shoot to expose the root. Carefully remove the soil from the area to see where the root goes and look for good root system. The main root will be attached to the mother plant. Dig deeply to extract as much of the root as possible. Use your shovel, clippers or a knife to cut it from the main bush then the root can be lifted out and planted in the location you have selected. Add compost to the soil before planting. Plant three to five shoots in each area. Water thoroughly. ( I water with Willow Water to give them a good start.)


    Grafting is the process of joining two or more different plants and permitting them to grow as one. Some of the most beautiful smelling lilacs can be grafted to the roots of the most attractive blooming lilacs. [Sometimes the prettiest flower doesn't have the prettiest smell. And sometimes the one with the prettiest smell is not really pretty to look at.]

    Bud grafting involves grafting a leaf bud (the little lump that becomes a leaf next spring) from one tree to another. By the first of August the next year's leaf buds have been formed. The first step is to select a donor tree with desirable characteristics that you'd like to impart on the stock tree that will receive the graft. Cut some twigs or "bud sticks" from the donor tree. You'll need to select bud sticks from this year's growth, which has greenish bark - older bark is brown - and is at the tips of branches. Cut bud sticks that are 8-12 inches long and about the thickness of a pencil. Place them in a jar of water overnight. Next, select a branch on the stock tree about the diameter of your little finger. Then find a spot between two leaves to operate on. Using a sharp knife cut a "T" in the bark in preparation for inserting a bud. Press down firmly so that the knife slices through the bark, and hits wood. The cross bar of the T should cross the axis of the branch. The T needs to be about three quarters of an inch long and a half an inch wide - big enough to accommodate the little shield-shaped piece of bark with the bud you are about to prepare and introduce. Using the tip of your knife, lift up the bark a little. It should slip or lift up easily. To prepare the bud you wish to graft, snip off a leaf on a bud stick, leaving a half-inch piece of stem to serve as a handle. Next, slice though the bark just past a leaf stem (out toward the tip) - just as you did when preparing the crossbar of the T on the stock branch. Then, from the other side of the bud, cut under the leaf handle, removing the bud - along with some wood and bark. It should be a shield-shaped, about three quarters of an inch long. Pry up the bark on your stock tree with your knife, and slide your bud into place. Try not to touch the edges or cut surface of the piece you are inserting. Make sure the bud is pointing the same direction it was on the donor tree. Now, you need to seal off the cut surfaces by wrapping the incisions with a budding strip - like you would wrap a sprain with a bandage. That keeps the graft in place and prevents the bud from drying out. Budding strips are like strips of thin rubber band, but disintegrate over the winter. Don't cover up the leaf handle, or the bud that is in the crevice between it and the branch. You can tape it, but will have to remove the tape after the graft has taken. Or, you can plaster the cut with a mixture of mud, manure, straw, and water like making mud pies ( like original grafting compound). Mix it up until it looks like cake batter and form the mud around the cut until the plaster is level with the outer layer of bark, then slip an old pantyhose around it for a bandage since pantyhose breaths and allow in healing power of wind, sun, water, and life. Nothing much will happen until next spring, when the grafted bud should begin to grow. Prune off everything past the new bud on the branch, and it will take over. The new twig on the stock tree eventually will produce flowers much like the donor tree.

    When it comes to grafting, or any of these other methods there are no guarantees of success (I would like to graft a lilac so that it produces blossoms in shades of red, white and blue; but I'm still working on it.)


    To start lilacs when you do not have any--Lilacs are generally available in burlap balls and pots, and they can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked. For best results, dig the hole 2 1/2 times as wide as the pot or root ball, but only as deep as the pot or root ball. The best time to transplant Lilacs is in the Spring.

    Lilacs grow best in full sun and well-drained soil containing lime, but they will grow in acid soil also. In the acid soils you need to add a little lime every three years or so. Under optimal conditions lilac plantings take two to three years to establish themselves in a new site.

    The plants should be fertilized in early spring and again directly after flowering with an all-purpose fertilizer such as a 10-10-10, watered in well. Lilacs do not like to get their feet (the roots) wet. Plant where they will never be in standing water. Their roots run deep. If you have an extended dry period or drought, water infrequently but thoroughly. Weed around your lilac bushes to maintain a clean area, that way they do not have to compete for moisture and nutrients.

    For more abundant flowering, cut off all spent blossoms each year and prune the flowering stem back to a set of leaves in order to prevent seeds forming, thereby directing the energy usually spent on seeds to next year's flower production.

    When the plant becomes leggy, remove about one-third of the oldest stems at ground level each year for three years. This encourages the growth of vigorous new stems from the base. By the end of the three years the plant should be fully rejuvenated with its blossoms once more at a level within reach (so you can cut or just bring down to nose level).

    Hope this helps. Thanks; Virginia
    Last edited by Virginia; 05-17-2009 at 07:10 PM.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Lilac Bushes ~ Info needed

    I transplant lilac babies all the time .. like they said down at the bottom of lilacs (esp reg purple ones) will be the babies ..

    dig them up .. you don't even have to get soil .. just some root

    now where you are going to put them .. stick the shovel in the ground wiggle back and forth (This makes a slit hole) .. drop in the lilac root and about an inch of stem .. water and stomp on the ground .. keep watered ...

    I helped a neighbor transplant from my mother tree a hedge .. one of the babies was only about 2-3 inches above ground - it had a blossom that year ,, funny looking the blossom was bigger than the plant

    Whites are pickier .. they don't multiple as easy and need a bit of babying

    ria maine

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Lilac Bushes ~ Info needed

    I LOVE LILACS!!!

    There are many varieties of Lilacs in existence (over a thousand) and each has a unique smell. We have (this year) white, creamy white, violet, blue, bluish-lilac, lilac, lilac-pink, pink, red, lavender, magenta, purple and deep (almost black) purple growing on our properties (here where we live has the old (wild) large lilac bushes of white, lilac and purple). (A few years ago we had one that was a butter yellow color and it had the sweetest smell.) Some bloom earlier than the others, but usually only in a week to ten day window. Most will bloom only for a couple weeks or so. But around the last part of April first to mid part of May they are in the heaviest bloom here.[They just finished for this year now we will have to wait 50 more weeks for them to put on another show. ] (I used to cut a huge bouquet of them for my mom every Mother's day as they were her favorite flower.)

    My favorite way to enjoy them is by going out and walking among them, reaching up and gently pulling a branch down to nose level for an up close look and smell, then releasing that branch and moving on to another that catches my eye. But, unfortunately, not everyone can go walking among the lilacs, (I have not always been able to) so, a freshly picked bouquet to adorn the table is the next best thing.

    When picking a bouquet, select the flowers that have almost all floweretts open. Early morning is the ideal time to cut fresh flowers. Have a bucket (I like plastic) of cool water on hand to put the flowers in. Look for ants and other insects and shake them loose. Cut all flowers and foliage about one inch from the bottom of a main stem. Make the slice at an angle of about 45 degrees. Place the cut flowers in the bucket immediately. When you are done collecting your flowers and have gotten back to the house; Trim back most or all the lower leaves (any that would be in the water in your vase). Put a floral preservative such as Crysal Floralife in a large clean vase and fill half way with tepid water. If you donít have any preservative, make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon bleach, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to 1 quart of lukewarm water. Keep in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Keep an eye on the water level to be sure that all stems are always in water. Add more water when needed. Change the water and re-cut the stems every 3-5 days. If the water gets cloudy change it more often.

    This is one way to keep the nice smell around awhile.

    Hope this helps. Thanks; Virginia

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Lilac Bushes ~ Info needed

    Uses for Lilac Flowers:

    You can make natural lilac perfume:

    Harvest a few bunches of fresh lilac flowers and trim the stems and leaves.

    Place a piece of cheesecloth in a bowl so that the cloth hangs over the edges of the bowl. Place 1 cup of lilac flowers inside the bowl on top of the cheese cloth and pour in 2 cups of water. Make sure that the flowers are completely submersed in the water and cover the bowl with a plate. Allow the flowers to soak overnight.

    Remove the plate and gather up the edges of the cheesecloth with the flowers inside. You can use string or a rubber band to secure the top. Pour the water and lilac filled cheesecloth in a pot and simmer until only about 1 teaspoon of scented liquid remains.

    Pour the lilac perfume carefully into a dark glass bottle with a tight fitting lid. Add 3 drops of glycerin to help the perfume retain its scent. Store your perfume in a cool dark place.

    Lilac Body Lotion:

    1 teaspoon borax
    1 cup rose water
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    a handful of lilac flowers
    2 cups of boiling water

    Dissolve 1 teaspoon borax in 1 cup rose water, then slowly add 2 tablespoons of warmed olive oil, beating constantly. When all the oil has been added to the water and it forms an emulsion, add lilac water.(Lilac water is made by infusing a handful of lavender flowers in 2 cups of boiling water.) Let this stand for an hour and then strain and use.

    You can:

    Pick a few "bundles" of lilacs and put them in a blender add about 1 Tablespoon of water and blend until you can't see any flowers (when it is just liquid). Use it before you shampoo, then use shampoo, and conditioner, to make your hair smell like lilacs. Or, add it to your homemade bar soap recipe, or liquid soap recipe. You could use store bought soap by melting it down, adding lilac scent and pouring in a bowl. You could also wrap a bar of unscented soap in a perfumed cloth and put it in foil wrap, let set for 6 weeks and it should infuse the soap with the smell of lilac.

    Lilac Bubble Bath

    1 quart (4 cups) distilled water
    1 cup unscented shampoo or 4 oz. bar of castille soap.
    3 ounces liquid glycerin
    5 drops lilac fragrant oil

    Mix all ingredients together. Store in a lidded container. To use pour into bath with the water running.




    Lilacs are edible, but note that all lilacs do not taste the same; just as all do not smell or look the same; some can taste bitter. Do a taste test before using them.


    Lilac Sugar

    Use a clean pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Fill the jar about one-third full with sugar; scatter a small handful of lilacs (already unstemmed and bug free). Cover the flowers with sugar so that the jar is two-thirds full, add another small handful of flowers and cover with sugar to fill the jar, leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Put on the lid, shake the jar, and place it on a shelf in a cool, dark place. The sugar will be ready to use in 2-3 weeks, but will become more flavorful with age. As you use the sugar, add more to take its place; it will take on the fragrance in the jar. Use for cakes, cookies, custards, whipping cream and all sorts of sweets

    Lilac Jelly

    Steep 4 cups lilac flowers in 2 cups boiling water, cover and allow to sit for 24 hours.
    add the juice of one lemon and 1 package fruit pectin bring to a boil and add 1 cup of sugar.
    Allow to boil for 5 minutes and place in small jars and refrigerate when cool.

    Lilac Syrup

    Make a simple syrup with one cup of sugar and one cup of spring water, heat until the sugar is dissolved, add one cup of lilac flowers and a few blueberries for color. Cook on low for 15 minutes, drain through a sieve and store in a jar for two weeks in the refrigerator. You can store it in the freezer in plastic containers for use next winter. To can it add the juice of 1 lemon and can in 1/2 pint jars. use as you would with any syrup (on pancakes, etc.)

    Lilac Muffins

    2 cups lilac buds and blossoms (no green part of flower)
    3 eggs
    1 cup oil
    2 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powde


    Rinse lilac buds in water and let them soak. Beat eggs, mix in oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.

    Pour excess water off lilacs. Stir into batter. Pour in prepared muffin trays. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.



    Lilac Sorbet

    2 cups water

    3/8 cup sugar

    1 1/2 to 2 cups lilacs (stemmed and roughly chopped)

    1/2 egg white, lightly beaten

    Granny Smith apple, diced

    fresh lime juice

    honey

    candied lilacs

    Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Add lilacs and steep for five minutes. Strain liquid into a bowl and chill in refrigerator. Reserve a few tablespoons of sorbet base; set aside. Add egg white to bowl and stir to combine. Process sorbet in ice cream machine, following machine directions. Place sorbet in airtight container and freeze until thoroughly set.

    Combine apple, reserved sorbet base, and a few drops of lime juice. Set aside.

    Garnish sorbet with diced apples, honey, and candied lilacs.


    Lilac Whipped Cream

    3 lilac blossoms
    1 1/2 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Put lilac blossoms in a stainless steel bowl with granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Add heavy cream and whisk until stiff peaks form.

    Hope this helps. Thanks; Virginia

 

 
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