Ceanothus are not as widely used in Australia as they could be. A reasonably drought tolerant and easy care plant. This is a plant that flowers in late winter to spring.
Also known as the Californian Lilac, Ceanothus papiliiosus has attractive blue flowers and good glossy green foliage.
Originally from the USA where it thrives in warm summers and cold winters. well suited to growing in many areas of Eastern Australia. Although the common name is Californian Lilac, this is a different plant to well known Lilac Varieties.
- Ceanothus ‘Blue Pacific’ is the most commonly grown variety, blue flowers cover the bush like a cloud.
- Ceanothus ‘Concha’ is regarded as one of the best varieties and reaches around 3 metres in height with a similar spread.
- C. arboreus ‘Trewithen Blue’ with is wonderful blue flowers which appear early from late winter to early spring this is a taller growing type to around 6 metres, so suited to larger gardens.
Ceanothus ‘Blue Cushion’ is one lower growing variety, ‘Blue Sapphire’ is another however. ‘Blue Sapphire’ with its deep green foliage and and deep blue flowers is fairly low growing and also attracts bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.
Ceanothus ‘Joyce Coulter’ is probably the best as a ground cover plant.
A native to California, ‘Joyce Coulter’ is sometimes called ‘Creeping Mountain Lilac’, it is a low growing shrubby plant that is relatively drought tolerant once established and with reach 2/3m with a spread of 2m+. Use this variety as a flowering ground cover plant.
C. spinosa or ‘Redheart’ has attractive white flowers, bees and butterflies love the flowers.
Ceanothus will grow well in a sunny well drained humus rich soil.
- Best in full sun but will handle part shade as well.
- Does require good drainage, particularly over summer when little to no extra watering is required.
- Covered with masses of lilac blue flowers in spring it is also attractive to birds and butterflies.
- Excellent when grown against a wall or fence in a sunny position
- All are fast growing easy care plants with blue flowers and deep green leaves.
- All are regarded as having a fast to medium growth rate.
- Prune to size in winter cutting back by as much 2/3 depending on requirements. You can also prune directly after flowering.
- Mulch deeply each winter and water during long dry periods.
- Fertilise with a slow release organic type fertiliser nearly spring.
Ceanothus are available for sale from the following nurseries
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.
Little Hampton, Vic 345
"Mail order nursery specialising in cottage garden perennials, flowering shrubs, Trilliums, Hostas and Pacific Coast Iris. Flat rate express postage - Except WA & TAS"
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."