I bought a Ceanothus Californian Lilac last year , it was about 3 feet
tall when the heavy snow hit England at the beginning of this year, the
weight of the snow bent the top half down and snapped the main stem, so
its now only half the height it was, its still alive and ok and a nice
shade of blue right now.
My question is as the main stem and growing tip has been broken will it
ever get any higher ??? Or is it worth getting a whole new plant.
Thanks for any advice
Most ceanothus tend to grow as shrubs, not trees. Prune away the broken
broken branches. Be careful to either leave green leaves or shoots
immediately below each cut, or else remove the entire branch. A bare
branch will generally not produce new growth but will instead die back
to its base. Also, branches more than an inch in diameter should not be
cut unless broken or dead.
If yours survived a snowy winter, consider yourself lucky. Ceanothus
generally does not do well where freezing winter temperatures are
normal. They do okay with winters that average above freezing but might
withstand occasional winters with one or two days down to 20F if
preceded by gradual cooling below freezing.
Note that ceanothus is relatively short-lived, 5-10 years is usual.
Also, ceanothus needs a relatively dry soil, especially in the summer.
They are native to California, where winter is the wet season and no
rain falls for 150-200 days in the summer. They grow wild in the hills
near my house, where even winter is not really a wet season; it's a
Why not grow something more suitable to your climate, such as true
lilacs or peonies? Both of them do very poorly in my mild-winter
climate and would not suffer in your summer rains.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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