Ceanothus is a real late-spring beauty of a shrub, covered in masses of vibrant blue scented flower clusters which attract bees.
This award-winning plant lives up to its name during late spring and early summer when it's smothered in bright blue flowers. These gorgeous, dense rounded flower clusters give an overall bobbly look which really adds to the appeal as well as emitting a wonderful sweet honey scent on a warm day, plus the bees love them too. Ideal for growing as a free-standing shrub or for training against a wall, the glossy, dark evergreen foliage provides year-round structure, colour and screening, so it's the perfect cover-up for a dull space. This fast-growing shrub is quick to establish in the garden, putting on a good amount of growth each year which can either be trained to wire supports or trellis fixed to a wall, otherwise let it mound into a bushy shrub in a large border. If you're after an easy plant for fuss-free colour, you won't have to spend a lot of time tending to ceanothus - a quick trim after flowering is sufficient to keep it in shape, otherwise it can just be left to get on with it.
This bright and fragrant shrub is ideal for providing low-maintenance interest which will reliably return for a repeat show every year.
Plant Type: Shrub
Hardiness: H4 Hardy. Minimum temperature -10 to -5.
Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 1.5m x W 2.5m (Mature age: 10 Years)
Foliage Colour: Green
Flower Colour: Blue
Fragrant Flower: Yes
Aromatic Foliage: No
RHS Award of Garden Merit: Yes
RHS Perfect for Pollinators: No
Foliage Type: Evergreen
Soil Type: Clay, Loam, Sandy, Alkaline
Soil Drainage: Well Drained
Light Exposure: Full Sun
Planting Style: Gravel & Drought Resistant Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Cottage Garden, Informal Garden, Urban Garden, Courtyard Garden, Flower Beds & Borders
Season of Interest: Spring
Flowering (from - to): April - May
Ceanothus will give its best performance in full sun, well drained soil and a sheltered spot - away from cold winter winds.
Plant in a wide sunny border to grow as a free-standing shrub, allowing plenty of room around it for the branches to spread out - it will need about 2m of space. If wall-training your ceanothus, plant it close to a sunny wall and attach either wire supports or a sturdy trellis to train the branches to as they grow.
When you first plant your ceanothus you'll need to water it regularly to settle the roots. Keep it well watered throughout it's first summer to help it to establish. The following year it will only need occasional watering during hot weather.
It's a good idea to mix slow-release fertiliser granules into the planting hole prior to planting to help feed and establish your plant throughout its first season. You can also apply an all-purpose liquid feed occasionally to encourage new, healthy growth, however feeding isn't essential.
You can give ceanothus a light prune during autumn once it's filled its space and also to remove any dead branches. During summer or after flowering each year, lightly trim the entire shrub with shears to keep it neat and bushy. Doing so will also remove the old flower heads.