Questions about lilacs

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by deb, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2002
    I live in WI now and I've gardened all of my life, but I grew up in the much drier climate of the central coast of CA so I don't know much about lilacs

    My mother always had an intensely GREEN thumb. Mom could get anything to grow and some time after I went away to college she started growing lilacs in our yard. I remember coming home for spring break and having the sweet lilac fragrance drift through my bedroom window. Mom was so proud of her lilacs that one time she had me take her picture in front of a bush in full bloom.

    My mom was paralyzed from a stroke 5 years ago and she moved to a convalescent facility because she needed 24x7 skilled nursing care. Some of the plants in her garden couldn't survive the long dry CA summers without Mom's loving care, but Mom's lilacs somehow managed to hang on.

    Mom died this last December and since then I've been thinking about her beloved lilacs. I would like to "save" Mom's lilacs and plant them in my WI garden. I'm flying home next week to visit my 95 yr old Dad and my older brother who lives with Dad, but I don't think airport security would let me bring back a lilac bush on the plane.

    I don't really need to bring the whole plant, just enough to have it get established in my yard.
    Can you tell me how I can do this?
    Do lilacs grow from stem cuttings?
    Will they grow from a section of roots?
    Do I have to dig up the whole root ball?

    Any help would be most appreciated.
    in wi
  2. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

    Jun 11, 2004
    NE FL until the winds blow

  3. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Jul 12, 2003
    east ont canada
    i would check with usda before sending/taking plant material. years ago before all the regs were in place we shipped seeds from tomatoes brought over from ireland all over the states to our cousins . there were no restrictions then but best to check! when you do get your cuttings home use a mild phosphorus fert. and lots of watering. have had some luck moving rooted peices but the neigbour chopped it of with his brush hog,next time he will be replacing the bush hog!barb wire does not show through the leaves!
  4. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2003
    You do lilac cuttings in the spring time just before they start to bud.
    its getting too late to even think of doing cuttings. Takes em usually 2 -3 months to get a decent rooted cutting and thats when you use root hormones.
    You will also need to use the root hormone number 2.
  5. Lararose

    Lararose Adams Nebraska

    Aug 6, 2005
    82 acres SE Nebraska
    If you cannot get rooted suckers from the plants base, call a nursery close to there and ask them to put you in touch with a local gardening club ( or maybe they will do it). You can offer to pay someone to root the cuttings for you at the proper time. I am sure if you tell your story to them you will find someone willing to help you. Or maybe someone from the forum close to that area can help!
  6. themamahen

    themamahen Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2005
    purple lilacs have suckers which are off shoots of the main roots. you can easily gig down about 4" at the base of the lilac bush and see the roots I would not take any over 3-4' they are harder to get established but i ship these all the time and have 20 or so of these bushes in my yard and move them whenever i choose. just dig them up down to where there is at least 4-5" of roots on the bush then break them from the main plant (some lilacs will produce babies from seed so look at the base of the plants for these they will be growing away from the base and be smaller) once dug you can ship them bareroots (no dirt) back to yourself wrap them in papertowels several and wet thouroughly. place in several plastic bags (just the roots) tie with a string to keep moisture in. the PO has priority mailing tubes which are 3' so stick them in there once you get home leave in water for 24 hours before planting. they will be wilted. plant 2" deeper then roots and keep moist for 2 weeks. your plants will wilt may even look dead but leave them they are not dead you will notice offshoots coming 3/4 weeks later. I would take twice as many plants as i wanted just to be sure as some could perish. there are NO PO or USDA restrictions on lilacs they are everywhere. good luck.
  7. Nan

    Nan Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    I wouldn't think that there is anything illiegal about taking some back in your suitcase too. It would kinda be like not putting all of your eggs in one basket. I was thinking the same thing as mamahen. That works perfectly and I have sent plants that way too. I would also put some starts in my suitcase wrapped exactly the same way. That way if something happens to them in the mail you still have the ones in your suitcase.

    I got starts from a friend's lilacs and they look droopy for a little while...then they really take off! I would mulch them well since you are coming into fall up there in WI. It would help them to stay moist and warm and give them a better start before the cold hits. Paquebot would know too....he is your neighbor up there.