Why Are My Lilac Bush Not Blooming?
Lilacs are perennials that need to have their flowers every year. They do not want to flower if they feel it will affect their health or appearance. When lilacs don’t bloom, then they lose their beauty and charm. Some reasons why your lilac bush isn’t blooming include:
1) You didn’t water them enough!
2) You over fertilized them!
3) You overwatered them!
The first thing you need to do is take care of these problems before they become bigger problems. If you are going to continue with the same practices, then you might as well just plant another tree.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve been talking about watering lilacs all day long! That’s because you need to water lilacs at least once a week. It doesn’t matter what kind of soil you use, but you need to make sure that the soil is moist enough so that your lilacs won’t wilt when they’re watered.
I’ll give some suggestions on how to water lilacs, but again, it really depends on where you live and what type of soil you have.
Soil Moisture Test
I want you to grab a wooden spoon and a small cup. Fill the cup with some of the soil that you plan on using. Pour a bit of water in the soil and mix it up until it is good and muddy.
You want to be able to form a ball with the mud, if you can’t then you need to add more water. If the mud ball breaks apart too easily, then you need to add more soil.
Now you are going to repeat this process, but this time you are going to use just water. Form a mudball and see if it breaks apart. If it does, then you need to add more water.
Do this until the ball doesn’t break apart. Just add a little bit of water at a time.
Now that you have done this, you should have two cups of mud. One should be easy to mold while the other is very hard to mold. The one that is easy to mold is what you are going to use to water your lilac bush.
The other cup is going to be the standard that you will compare your soil to.
Soil Type Test
I’m going to classify soil types as loose and dense.
Loose Soils: These are soils such as peat, compost, sand, etc… You can probably easily make a ball out of it.
Dense Soils: These are heavier soils such as clay and humus. You probably had a hard time forming a ball out of it.
How To Water
If you have a loose soil: Use the muddy water from your cup to water your flowers. Do this once every week or two weeks. If it is hot you may need to water them more often.
If you have a dense soil: Use the muddy water from your cup to water your flowers. Do this once a month. It probably won’t need it more than that.
One year I had a particularly bad case of lily beetles, they must have come from somewhere! I was a rather new gardener at the time and didn’t know what to do. It was late in the year and I was running out of time.
I tried all the suggestions that I could find online and none of them worked! I didn’t want to risk another plant so I went to Home Depot and got some lightning rods. I had to drill hundreds of holes in the ground and then pour this weird goop inside of them. It cost a fortune too. I heard it wouldn’t hurt the flowers or anything else, but I was still worried about it affecting my plants.
I got the rods installed just in time, but by then all my lilies were gone! I was so upset that I didn’t even care that they were gone, all I could do was watch my soil turn to glass. It was probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
It was like a work of art.
Well, as you can guess, the lily beetles died out that year and I didn’t have anymore problems with them. Of course that isn’t the only reason I kept my rods, they are nice to look at!
Once again I’m here to help you with your lightning rods! They are an important tool in the garden, but they can be a bit confusing at first. So let’s get started!
Where To Place Them
Lightning rods should be placed in areas that receive a lot of sun, but aren’t so close to trees that they could fall on them. They also should not be placed near places where the garden is hilly or sloped.
Over time the lightning rods will start to gather energy. This is represented by a lightning icon that will appear on your screen. The more lightning it shows, the more energy it has gathered.
When this energy is ready to be used, you can tap on the lightning rod to zap nearby flowers that need watering. This will speed up their growth, but you have limited “charges” so you want to save them for the most needy plants.
For the most part you will not have to actively water your garden. The lightning rods will take care of most of it, but there are some plants that may need extra water or attention. These are usually plants that like either really wet soil or dry soil.
Pay attention to these plants and give them the extra care that they need.
If you start to notice fungus on any of your plants, you will need to use the lightning rod on just that one plant. This will zap the soil and rid it of fungus, but it uses up one of your charges.
Lightning rod tips
Right now you have two options for lightning rods, the first is the default one that you’ve been using in this booklet. It has the most control over where and when to use the zaps.
The second kind is an automatic lightning rod. These work constantly and don’t require any attention from you. The only thing you need to do is check on them every once in a while to make sure they aren’t being blocked by other plants or structures.
If you use these, we recommend placing them in corners so they have the most space possible.
These are the flowers that have no benefits and are just for looks. They come in a variety of colors. You can choose to have them randomly scatter across your garden, or you can place them yourself.
If you choose to place them yourself, please make sure to keep a space void of flowers in the middle of your garden.
These can only be planted on the edges of your garden, as they require lots of room to spread. They are hardy plants that grow very quickly. They will also block anything behind them from the garden, so you do need to be careful where you plant them.
You can use the shoots that they drop as additional kindling for your campfires.
The bamboo may also drop bamboo seeds. You can plant these in the garden to add a little natural privacy to any exposed areas.
These are unique flowers that do not produce seeds and can only be planted by pigs who eat the bulbs and then wander into the garden and defecate where you want the blooms to grow. They will grow in a clump like onions do, and can be harvested and replanted like them as well.
These are very rare fungi that only grow under the specific condition of having happy pigs digging through garden soil for years on end. They can be replanted like other plants, and sometimes when planted they will grow more truffles. However, it is unlikely that the truffles will grow fertile.
The truffles themselves are worth quite a bit, but much like diamonds or gold, the value is mostly based on how rare they are. The rarer they are, the more value they have. You can either keep them in your storage chest, or try to trade them for other goods.
There are many things in nature that can work as fertilizer for your plants. Feces being the most obvious, but urine, manure, and especially rotting flesh can be used as well. Remember to never use another human’s waste.
Make sure you only use your own!
When your plants are ready for harvest, you can cut them at the base or pull them out of the ground if needed. This will allow new plants to grow in their place next year.
Some plants, like sage, will always die after they are cut. Other plants, like hops will produce more flowers if you pick the old ones so it can go to full bloom again next year. Be sure to only pick what you need and leave the rest for next year.
If you do not regularly add new soil and fertilize your garden, heavy use of the area can result in erosion. Be sure to replace soil that gets washed or blown away.
While your garden is up and running, it could be an opportunity for many different types of animals to come and eat. Some might be herbivores seeking out the greener pastures in your garden. Other animals, like coyotes, rats, and bears might be coming for the tasty treats you have to offer.
Maintaining Your Garden
Just like every other part of your homestead, your garden needs upkeep to stay in tip-top shape. Fertilizer and compost are great for the soil, but they need to be replaced every once in a while. You can also run into weeds that should be removed before they take over your crops.
Plants will need to be watered regularly if the season is long and dry. It is best to inspect your garden on a regular basis. A little weeding here and there and keeping an eye on insects can prevent a major problem that could kill your whole crop.
Most importantly, remember that nature is a balancing act. You can speed up the growing process with the right care, but you cannot speed it up far enough to make a whole year’s worth of food in just a few months. Keep this in mind when deciding how much of a certain crop to grow.
Each plant in this garden has a purpose. Some make great drinks. Others can be eaten as food.
Still others are vital for medicine. Be sure to choose your plants wisely and always have a use for them!
These are the most common plants that can be found growing almost anywhere in the world. Most of these can be easily cultivated just about anywhere, though some may require a more tropical climate.
These herbs can be used to make poultices, salves, or other items to help heal minor wounds and illnesses. Be sure to always use gloves when handling these!
Most of these plants can be eaten or cooked into a meal that will provide a full day’s nourishment. Others can be made into alcohol.
These plants have many different uses. Some can be made into healing agents, while others can be used to create harmful poisons.
These plants can be a very beneficial cash crop. When ripe, the seed pods burst open and reveal a plethora of round, black seeds surrounded by a gooey, opium-filled sap. This sap is highly sought after for its medicinal properties and is the main ingredient in most opiates.
A large patch of these can bring in a sizable amount of profit. Be sure to guard it from those who would steal your sap!
Growing Opium Poppy is easy and can be done just about anywhere. These delicate plants tend to attract a lot of pollen, so those with allergy issues should plant them somewhere away from the house or any paths often traveled.
Each poppy plant has dozens of blooms which should be cut when they begin to fade and the bright red petals start to look ragged. This is when the sap is at its gooiest and most full of opium.
Once the petals are removed, the seed pod will begin to form. These pods will eventually grow ripe and burst open, scattering tiny black seeds that should be harvested as well since they can be used to make cooking oil.
Also known as the ‘sleeping root’, this plant can be easily grown just about anywhere. The ground should be well-tended and free of weeds, however, or it will yield weak, stunted roots.
The leaves and root can be boiled down into a syrup which can then be mixed with other ingredients to form a powerful healing potion or a deadly poison.
These plants grow best in damp soil and prefer shade. The leaves and berries can be boiled down into a poison, while the roots and seeds can be made into a powerful sleeping potion.
The berries are the most poisonous part of the plant, so care should always be taken when dealing with this plant. The fumes from simply boiling the leaves can be enough to cause blindness.
This plant is extremely rare and difficult to grow. Should you have the skill to grow this plant, you should be careful around it, as just a tiny brush against the leaves or flowers can result in death. The poison derived from the roots and seeds are among the fastest acting in all the world.
The roots contain the most poison, but can be difficult to harvest. A skilled herbalist can carefully peel away the dark outer covering to get to the pure white core. This core can then be slowly dried to make a lethal poison.
The best way to use this is in a thin powder that can be easily applied to food and drink. Even the smell of the dried powder can be enough to kill someone. This plant thrives in wet conditions and should only be grown by those with expert knowledge of herbs.
These green vines can be grown over any structure, be it a trellis, a pole, or even along the ground.
They thrive best when given lots of sunshine and water, but will grow even in the poorest of soil. The flowers that bloom at the tip of each vine will eventually turn into the hops that are used to flavor beer. Give the vines enough time, and you’ll soon have enough to dry and use for years to come.
Truffles are a rare mushroom that can be found growing out of the roots of certain trees. They tend to grow almost exclusively around certain types of oaks, but have been known to grow around certain fruit trees as well.
In the past, pigs were kept and allowed to roam free in the woods. They were well-trained to find these rare mushrooms and would dig them up out of the soft soil. These days they’re a bit harder to come by, and only the extremely well-trained pig can spot the white knuckles against the dark soil.
The Truffle is an odd mushroom in that it has little flavor of its own, but instead adds a wonderful scent and taste to anything it’s cooked with. There are few dishes that a truffle can’t improve.
This brown and knobby looking root is often used as a replacement for hops when brewing ale. It has a much more calming affect on the drinker, which is why brewers like to use it. Valerian is harder to come by than hops, but given the effects, many brewers make the extra effort to seek it out.
Valerian can also be eaten raw, though its taste is difficult to describe. Some say it tastes like a sweet nut, while others say it simply tastes like dirt.
Opium is known to grow best in dry and warm conditions. Knowing this about the plant, it’s strange that it can be found in large amounts in the colder and wetter region of the Empire. One possible explanation for this is that poppies are often brought here as seeds by travelers from the south.
Though the climate is different, these travelers often plant the seeds here in order to enjoy the opiate inside the Papaver Somniferum.
Opium has long been used for it’s sedative and pain-relieving properties. It can be ingested by eating or drinking it, though these methods have serious side effects. Inhaling the vapor from simmering opium is a far less harmful way of enjoying its benefits.
Not really a plant, but oh well. There are many teas that come from plants, but the ones listed below don’t. These are all just different blends of certain flowers, leaves, and herbs that are infused into a boiling liquid to be consumed as a beverage.
The Empire has a strong tea culture, so it’s no surprise that many varieties have been brought over from the southern islands.
This small white flower has a mildly sweet taste, but what makes it interesting is the effect it has on the individual that eats it. In some cultures, the Woodrose is ground up into a fine powder and ingested to improve oracular capabilities. In others, it is used as a recreational drug.
Its effects take around twenty minutes to kick in, and the feeling lasts for about an hour and a half. Once consumed, the user normally feels very relaxed and happy.
The year is 00 BZ or “Before Zodhiates”, the start of what will eventually become known as the Empire. It is a time when monsters roam the land and humanity has retreated to isolated strongholds and colonies to protect themselves from the terrors of the world outside.
The cause of this change in climate is something that has been debated by scholars, intellectuals and philosophers for many centuries. Some say it was a freak accident involving a magical experiment that went wrong. Others claim it was the wrath of an angry god being visited upon humanity.
A few even say it was caused by the rise of industrialization and the pollution it wrought upon the land.
Whatever the cause, the effects are apparent for all to see. Crops don’t grow, water sources become undrinkable and the very air is toxic to the human body. Many die in the first days of what will become known as “the Cataclysm”.
Governments prove ineffectual in the face of this disaster and collapse quickly, only serving to intensify the chaos and disorder that grips humanity.
The first territory to be established is the Empire of Zodhiates, founded by the so-called “Shining Man” Rezzimaldor Zodhiates. A self-proclaimed messiah and chosen of God, Rezzimaldor rises from poverty to become a powerful warlord with a vision to save humanity. He is successful in his endeavors and quickly becomes a rival to the King of Oren, the only other dominant figure of authority at this time.
The war between the Empire and the Kingdom of Oren lasts for over thirty years. It consists of a series of sporadic battles and events which are too numerous to list, but generally result in a back-and-forth struggle for dominance. Neither is able to overwhelm the other, and by the time both sides have settled down for a final showdown, they’ve destroyed most of what remains of the known world.
The War of Subjugation lasts for four years. The Kingdom of Oren is dissolved, and its capital sacked. The King of Oren is taken captive by Rezzimaldor Zodhiates, who executes him in person with his famous sword “Exodus”.
With the last vestiges of his opposition gone, Rezzimaldor declares himself Emperor and takes on the new name he will be known forever after: Zodhiates.
The Age of Mortals begins.
In the centuries that follow, the Empire of Zodhiates grows and grows, as more and more land falls under its domination. Humanity clings on to a small portion of the world, but it is ruled over by a harsh and unforgiving autocracy. Powerful war wizards known as “Voidcasters” come into being.
Their powers are unnatural and seemingly impossible, and they are rumoured to be able to channel the power of the dead themselves.
The Empire of Zodhiates survives for over four hundred years, but its end is as sudden as its beginning. A rebellion takes place on the colony of Viscount, located in the far east of the world. It is one of the few places in the world that hasn’t been contaminated by industrialization and technology, and so the people there decide to fight back against a ruling class that doesn’t understand or care about their way of life.
The rebellion is put down, but the damage has already been done. The ruling class of the Empire of Zodhiates starts a civil war that tears the country apart from within and casts it into chaos.
The Voidcasters are blamed for this disaster. At first they are hunted down and killed, then their status as nobility means they become the focus of the lower classes’ rage. Hundreds of years of human servitude and industrialization has robbed the lower classes of their dignity, and now they want revenge.
The Voidcasters are hunted down and killed, along with their families and friends. Entire families are wiped out, just to get at one man. The Age of Mortals comes to an end.
The Age of Man begins.
A new Dark Age sets in. It’s not quite as dark as the previous one, as humanity has a few more advantages over the rest of the world this time around. Cities become surrounded by rings of farmland to provide food, as urban sprawl consumes the countryside.
Government collapses, and law and order disintegrate into vigilantism and anarchy. It is a very sad time for humanity indeed.
In these dark times, a few opportunistic pioneers sail west in search of a new land.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Lilac ring mottle virus: isolation from lilac, some properties, and relation to lilac ringspot disease by FA Van der Meer, H Huttinga, DZ Maat – Netherlands Journal of Plant …, 1976 – Springer
Changes in the onset of spring in the western United States by DR Cayan, SA Kammerdiener… – Bulletin of the …, 2001 – journals.ametsoc.org
Advancing to full bloom: planning phenological research for the 21st century by MD Schwartz – International Journal of Biometeorology, 1999 – Springer
Believing for practical reasons by S Rinard – Noûs, 2019 – Wiley Online Library
Mycoplasmalike organisms, cause of lilac witches’-broom by MF Stepman, R Bruidegom – Plant disease, 1986 – apsnet.org
Assessing the changing flowering date of the common lilac in North America: a random coefficient model approach by JL Fiala – 2008 – Timber Press