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What does moderate growth mean???

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litabitme
Joined: 9/30/2007
Location: Roscoe IL
Posts: 2
Posted: Sep/30/2007 7:41 AM PST

I have 3 Ludwig Von Spaeth lilacs that I bought for a possible privacy hedge. the problem is they are only about 2 ft. tall at the moment. The information about them says the have a moderate growth rate. I can't find anything that tells me what that means. Does anyone know how many feet of growth I could expect a year. I don't want to wait 5 years to have some privacy!!!Thanks!
EvonneStoryteller photos
Joined: 7/02/2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 769
Posted: Sep/30/2007 8:00 AM PST

To me moderate means average. They are not really fast growing, nor do they crawl along at the pace of a turtle.
CarolineC blog photos
Joined: 7/14/2007
Location: SE Pennsylvania zone 6b
Posts: 393
Posted: Sep/30/2007 11:57 AM PST

My GUESS is that you could expect 1-2 ft. per year. I don't have any experience with lilacs. A fast growing bush, like the butterfly bush, might grow 3-5 ft. per year. A slow growing bush, like boxwoods, might only grow 0.5-1 ft. per year. So I would think that a bush that has moderate growth would be somewhere in between. I would guess that you'll have a privacy hedge in 2 years-3 years. It might be worth it to find out about the best way to prune these lilacs too, to spur on new growth. Again, these are only very rough guesstamate numbers. Hopefully someone who has experience with lilacs will see your post.
sweetlebee blog photos
Joined: 5/09/2005
Location:
Posts: 19587
Posted: Sep/30/2007 4:13 PM PST

My lilacs are 4 years old and have grown slowly, maybe a foot altogether. But I planted it in clay without added compost, not knowing any better at the time. Lilacs take 3-5 years to really settle in, and some won't bloom during that time, though mine did and the blooms get better every year.

If you meet its basic requirements, you'll give it the best possible chance to grow well-- plant it in full sun, dig a big hole and amend it with compost, add lime if your soil is acidic, and lightly fertilize it once a year after bloom. Water well once a week during the summer. Lilacs are said to thrive on neglect, so don't fuss over it.

As for pruning, make sure you cut the dead flowers off after it blooms, and cut off any dead branches while you're at it. To give it an over-all pruning, cut up to 1/3 of the canes out at the base of the plant. It will probably be a few years before you have to to do this. If it starts looking like a tree instead of a shrub and all the flowers are at the end of the branches, you can cut back 1/3 of the branches 1/3 of the way after bloom. Lilacs set next year's buds after bloom, so you don't want to prune in summer or fall and lose your flowers for next spring.
litabitme
Joined: 9/30/2007
Location: Roscoe IL
Posts: 2
Posted: Sep/30/2007 6:18 PM PST

thanks! That is a big help. I think I may plant them now in a different location. We have a new home and really lousy soil. We have about 6 inches of topsoil and then it is very sandy and rocky. I have no idea what the ph is...I have so many things I am planting right now. It is a little daunting, but I am really looking forward to learning more.
sweetlebee blog photos
Joined: 5/09/2005
Location:
Posts: 19587
Posted: Oct/01/2007 6:56 AM PST

I wished I had taken the time to dig all my new beds with compost, but I planted one hole at a time. I didn't know that I was going to get bit by the gardening bug and end up with *ahem* a "few" plants. Now that my perennials need to be divided or moved to better locations, it's been a terrible chore lifting them out of the heavy soil.
DeborahElliott2
Joined: 10/01/2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5
Posted: Oct/01/2007 6:21 PM PST

To find your PH in soil, Cut a pvc pipe about 30 inches long. Drive it in your ground about 20 inches and pull it out. line a calender with screen from a window and tap some of the soil into it. hold it over a glass jar and pour just enough water over the soil to get it wet and it will go strain through into the jar. Use a soil PH test kit (found in walmart or any garden center store) to test the water PH. This is what is in your soil. If it reads between 5-6 on the scale, your soil is Great! If lower than 3 you want to amend it and add lime and then wait 3 months to test it again before you plant.
If your plants are in a pot, place it in a glass dish or plastic bowl, water until it leaks out of bottom, and test water for PH levels according to directions above. This will tell you if you need to fertilize the plants or add lime or sulfates to the soils.
DeborahElliott2
Joined: 10/01/2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5
Posted: Oct/01/2007 6:32 PM PST

a moderate growth rate means that this particular plant will only grow an average of 6 inches to a foot per year. This plant is a perennial and blooms about the 3rd or 4th year after being established. Do not prune it during the fall time, prune in spring time where it won't get frozen new growth and you will not stunt plant growth. You must add fertilizer to it in the spring right after pruning for the plant to respond well to its environment and treatment. Mulch 2 inches from root ball around your tree during the winter. This will keep your plant happy and produce blooms when it is ready. I really love the smell of Lilac!!
sandtiger5 photos
Joined: 5/10/2009
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1
Posted: May/10/2009 10:43 PM PST

Just FYI on growth rates:

Use the Growth Rate criterion to specify the desired growth rate, after establishment.

Slow: 1-25 cm/yr ( 1/2 - 9 1/2 inches)
Moderate: 25-50 cm/yr (9 1/2 - 19.5 inches)
Fast: > 50 cm/yr (19.5 + inches)
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