Lilacs don't need to be fertilized. However, fertilizing in early spring may help give blooms a boost, provided there is not too much nitrogen, which will result in insufficient flowering. Use an all-purpose fertilizer such as a 10-10-10, watered in well. And tough as lilacs are, they need supplemental water during periods of drought.
Spring or fall is the best time to plant lilac bushes. If planting more than one lilac bush, space them at least 5 feet apart to prevent overcrowding, even if you plan to use them as a privacy hedge.
Lilac bushes are occasionally bothered by insect pests, such as borers. Watch for signs of pest problems and treat immediately. Spraying with soapy water may be sufficient, but if heavy infestations occur, pruning the entire plant may be necessary for lilac tree care and health.
The unrelated chinaberry (Melia azedarach) and mock-oranges (Philadelphus) are sometimes called "lilac," too.
To bring lilacs into the house, be sure to cut the branches in the morning with pruning shears and plunge them immediately into air-temperature water.
For your vase water, combine 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon bleach, 2 teaspoons citrus juice and 1 quart lukewarm water. Cut stems at 45-degree angles and make two 1-inch crossing splits from the base to facilitate water uptake. Keep the vase out of direct sunlight, and re-cut any limp stems.
Don't tie daffodil leaves
You can't be a neat freak and like daffodils -- because you should never, I repeat, never cut or tie off the leaves of daffodils after they finish their bloom. If you do, you'll reduce the leaf surface area and thereby the energy the bulb receives to produce next spring's flowers.
Interplant the bulbs with another, slow-to-emerge perennial so the new plants come in as the daffodils turn brown.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.