Ceanothus Southmead Shrub

Bought around May 2013 – its been a slow grower – but if it will ever be like these stunning pics on Google – I hope we have the patience to wait. Commonly known as California Lilac, this compact bushy evergreen shrub has finely toothed, dark green leaves and a profusion of dark rich blue flowers in late spring. Ideal for any well drained sunny site, but not suited to cold exposed situations.



 Picture at Time of Purchase

8th May 2013


An Evergreen California Plant. It produces reddish buds, followed by purplish-blue flowers in late spring (March to May). It prefers a sheltered position. This variety (Ceanothus Southmead) looks like its max height is a 1m and a half.

Where I planted

Planted initially to the right side of an arch in the ground  – then moved as I thought it was suffering there. So moved to another spot on the right side of the garden. It appears to be tilting over – partly to gain extra light from the surrounding heathers and partly I think to look for something to climb up – so I may move back to the fence or arch.

Further Info

Further Info on Gardeners World and how to plant here. Also on backyardgardener.com and telegraph.

Things to Remember

  • It may not need as much water as other plants.
  • Mostly hardy in the UK, but can be damaged by frost and wind in exposed situations
  • Once established, avoid pruning
  • On very young plants, pinch out the soft young shoots in spring to make bushier specimens.
  • If necessary, trim over-long flowering shoots by half with a pair of sharp shears or secateurs.
  • Avoid cutting into any wood older than one year.
  • On wall-trained plants, prune previous-season growth by one third to one half and cut back shoots growing into or out from a wall.
  • Plant all ceanothus in a sheltered position, in well-drained soil, including slightly alkaline. A south-facing wall is ideal.