Ceanothus is among the most requested flowering plants in nurseries. However, few people know how to cultivate or maintain it. Thus, the popularization of growing and maintenance techniques of Ceanothus will allow everyone to fully play the gardener’s role while providing advice regarding the plant. 

Native to North America, Ceanothus is a flowering plant of the Rhamnaceae family. Hardy and fragrant, Ceanothus can be grown both in-ground and in containers. It is propagated by cuttings. This plant has more than 50 varieties and can reach up to 26 feet in height. There are two distinct categories of Ceanothus: evergreen Ceanothus and deciduous Ceanothus. The first, those that are evergreen, have their flowering period in spring and can withstand temperatures as low as of 19 ° F. Moreover, they grow best in areas bordering the sea. As for the deciduous Ceanothus, flowering occurs in summer and can withstand temperatures around 5 ° F. They have the advantage of being able to adapt to all regions.

How to plant Ceanothus? 

Ceanothus appreciate well-drained soils that are neutral, not too calcareous, and of normal humidity. However, to produce strong shoots, planting soil must be added to the hole. These plants do not easily tolerate direct exposure to the sun but enjoy the heat.

For young seedlings to grow successfully, the planting of cuttings should be carried out towards the end of the summer, by inserting them in a mixture of sand to which a little peat will added. The whole mix must be maintained at an average temperature of 59 ° F. If the propagation by cuttings seems impossible, try propagation by grafting. For certain specific varieties, breeding can be achieved by seeds or by air layering.

How to maintain and care for Ceanothus? 

The best way to maintain Ceanothus is to prune it periodically to protect it against harsh climate conditions and to provide it with the necessary care to prevent disease and parasitic attacks while guaranteeing a strong growth. For Ceanothus to reveal all of its beauty and charm, it is necessary to prune it regularly after each flowering to remove wilted flowers and leaves and dried out stems. For some varieties such as deciduous Ceanothus, pruning must take place in spring and will consist of removing shoots from the previous year.

We must take certain steps to effectively protect Ceanothus in winter or during very cold time periods. It does not need to be watered, except for the first two years of its growth. Given their limited 7 to 10 year lifespan, it is advisable to plant new Ceanothus when this time period comes to an end. There are no known enemies or diseases that affect Ceanothus. To some experts, this tree is perceived as being highly resistant to attacks.

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Published in Flowering shrubs by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011