Ceanothus, commonly known as Californian lilacs, have masses of tiny flowers during spring or summer. The most popular varieties have striking bright blue flowers however there are also very pretty pink, purple and white ceanothus available. Native to North America their dense bushy habit with leathery dark green leaves make them not only attractive but also drought, heat and cold tolerant. Different cultivars are available, growing from 0.5 – 3 m tall, which can be grown as a beautiful container or specimen plant, ground cover or informal hedge. Ceanothus are also ‘nitrogen fixing’ plants (able to convert atmospheric nitrogen into nitrogen plants can use).

How to grow ceanothus in your garden

  1. Choose north facing edges of the garden or edges which receive ample sunlight through the day. Enrich the well drained soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. If the soil is clay based or poorly drained, add gypsum and fork in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, woodchips or pea straw, keeping it away from the stem.
  5. Water deeply, two to three times a week, depending on weather conditions, once established they can tolerate dry conditions. 
  6. Feed every 6-8 weeks from spring to mid autumn with Yates Thrive Natural Roses Flowers Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food.

Growing tips

  • Ceanothus  spp. are remarkably drought tolerant but the plants will perform at their best if water stress is kept to a minimum.
  • Prune back lightly after flowering
  • Some varieties include -
  • Cultivars: 
  • Blue Pacific
  • Blue Cushion
  • Blue Sapphire
  • Pin Cushion
  • Yankee Point
  • Glore de Versailles

More Plants


Daphne is an evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves and beautifully fragrant flowers in shades of white and pink. Grow in the garden or in pots.

Dwarf Pohutukawa

Dwarf Pohutukawa (Tahitian Pohutukawa) is a fantastic flowering shrub or small tree ideal for use as a feature plant, hedge or screen.

Smoke Bush

Smoke Bush is an ideal shrub to add a splash of foliage colour to gardens. It provides year-round seasonal interest and looks fabulous in both gardens and pots.


Piceas, or Spruces, are evergreen coniferous trees from the Pinaceae family with a lovely conical shape, needle-like leaves and ornate pendulous cones.

Recommended products