Summer and autumn-flowering ceanothus
These deciduous or evergreen shrubs flower from mid-summer onwards and are a great way to add a touch of blue to summer-flowering perennial borders. Easy to incorporate into many planting schemes, they look excellent as a specimen plant in a hot Mediterranean bed, or combined with soft pinks and blues for a classic cottage garden feel.
Vigorous bushy shrubs, many with a rounded habit, bear oval or pyramidal clusters of blue-toned flowers. Deciduous types, including the unusual pink-flowering cultivars ‘Marie Simon’ and ‘Perle Rose’, have larger and thinner-textured leaves than the evergreens as well as looser, elongated clusters of flowers.
These shrubs grow best in a fertile, well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered position; against a south-facing wall is ideal.
Heavy soils that are prone to waterlogging and shady spots where flowering will be poor. Though deciduous types tend to be more tolerant of exposure than evergreens, plants won’t thrive in cold, windy spots.
Did you know?
Ceanothus are a good plant for pollinators, with their flowers favoured by honeybees and bumblebees. Many also produce berries after flowering, which are a good source of food for garden birds.
Climbers and wall shrubs: pruning established plants
Trees and shrubs: planting
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