would someone be able to help me figure out what's wrong with my lilac?

I see leaves that are very bright yellow in between the veins, however they are in clusters not all over the plant. I can also see very tiny reddish brown spots. There is a little bit of dieback on some branches. Sometimes the pattern is much more bright on the half of the leaf closest to the ground.
There are healthy lilac plants on either side.

I recently had thin out all of my lilacs and every one is healthy except this one.

Lilac with yellowing leaves

1 Answer 1


If neighbor plants look healthy, then it is probably not chlorosis caused by iron deficiency or other general problems with the soil.

As I understand your question, it is not a container plant, and then it seems to be safe to rule out overwatering unless the area has been soaking for longer periods.

You also noticed brown spots which could indicate a fungus:

Various fungal diseases potentially attack lilac foliage, often appearing as brown or dark spots or irregular areas that may be accompanied by a yellowing or browning of a lager leaf surface area and sometimes leaf drop. Damage is usually not severe on established, vigorous plants.

Rather than trying to determine exactly what disease that is causing these symptoms, I suggest to focus on cultural controls for treatment like pruning of unhealthy parts and keeping distance to neighbor plants:

  • Maintain adequate spacing between plants and prune to provide good air circulation within the canopy.
  • Prune out and burn all affected tissues immediately.
  • Plant resistant species or cultivars.
  • Do not fertilize late in the growing season. Do not over-fertilize young plants.

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