I have a lilac moved from a pot to the ground about 9 years ago. It has been growing steadily with more blooms each year. It's about 6 feet tall now, and looked like it was going to have another great year maybe 5 weeks ago. However, in the last 3-4 weeks we first noticed one branch with dead leaves and flower buds, and it has spread steadily throughout the plant. At this point over 3/4 of it is obviously dead and we expect the last of it will also die soon.
No sign of bugs that I can see, no change in the way we have cared for it this year compared to others....just a complete mystery. Appears there's nothing to be done for it, and I'm really sad to see it happen.
What I am wondering is if there's a chance it could be the soil, because it's a great sunny spot and I'd like to put another lilac in it's place -- but obviously hesitant about that idea. Still, there's been no changes in the soil to my eye or knowledge since it was originally planted there.
Would appreciate hearing thoughts from anyone who has lost a lilac unexpectedly like this or has an idea of why this might happen.