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Hi everyone, I have this Ceonothus in my garden and it is looking very sad! Any ideas on a) what is wrong and b) what I should do? thank you very much in advance!




You could try cutting it right back and see what happens but I'd get rid of it. They're not long lived shrubs 

Mine have suffered the last 2 years, and I did pull up one last year as it had died altogether. However, I was loathe to lose both as the bees really love them, I kept it and pruned out the dead branches. I've been surrpised to see that it's growing new shoots from the main branches. It's reviving well and though not as floriferous this year at least the bees can still enjoy it. 

My neighbour has a ceoanthus and it's been there for over 20 years.  She just leaves it  alone, never prunes it, never feeds it and has it planted in dry soil and hers is beautiful.  It helps that hers is in full sun all day whereas mine just gets sun part of the day and so mine takes longer to flower and doesn't flower as much.  But I've found that it's best not to prune it at all. 


I agree with nut.  I would get rid of it now.  Don't put another in that spot though. It's often an opportunity, when a plant is past it's best, to redesign the area.  Stefan, maybe think of putting some perennials there and revamp it?


Jan Wright

My Ceonothus went all brown due to the very long cold winter.  They need full sun (facing South) and are not really fully hardy.  I left it alone and eventually new leaves appeared.  So be patient and it will recover and eventually flower, fingers crossed!

Time is short.

Reed, get rid of it now.  You will be seeing that deteriorating ceanothus for months convincing yourself it will recover and become a "swan".   It won't

Eventually all ceanothus give up in relatively short time.  Treat yourself to something you will actually enjoy looking at now.


Judging by the comments, my Ceanothus shouldn't be as tall as my house 

 or longed lived but its fifteen yrs old and flowers its socks off every year so we end up with a blue cloud in May.


Then again, I live in Kent and it faces due south against the house wall

Down here we see,lots,of huge ceanothus.  Eventually they go and they go,suddenly. I think the giants survive longest because they are not pruned.  Ceanothus don't really like it.  

I had Trewithen Blue a tree like Cornish variety.  Lovely for 10 years or so but then decided to die.  Big space to fill then.

Best to buy them as short term shrubs I think....take cuttings too.

I nearly lost mine last year after moving it at the wrong time. A dose of epsom salts brought it back practically from the dead! It's growing brilliantly this year even after this terrible weather.

I have often thought about planting a ceanothus hedge - it would look spectacular but for how long?  Thanks to the comments here, I'm pleased that I didn't!  With the odd exception, they do seem to be short lived, according to climate.  I bought one for my daughter & son in law 10 years ago for a wedding anniversary gift.  It never changed size or shape in all these years!  They have now divorced.  Hope it wasn't anything to do with the ceanothus!

I suppose it depends how you view gardening. Do you want everything to be there forever, or do you like to make a few changes occasionally? Ceanothus might be a bit tender but you have to look at Wintersong's to think maybe it's worth a gamble. On the other hand, yes hedges you might want to be forever.

Woodgreen wonderboy

My evergreen Cs have all succumbed over the years, but my one deciduous C. thrives and it is in a very challenging position, close to the garage wall in heavy shade. Everyone planted them 20 years ago, very fashionable, but not sure they would be high on my list now if starting over.

They still would be for me as they attract so many bees. 

How long does a dead ceanothus last standing? My neighbour to the rear of me had a huge ceanothus give up the mortal coil a couple of years ago.  Rather than have it cut down or take out the dead plant she planted a jasmine under it to climb up and thru.  Now the jasmine has gone completely rampant, with tendrils trying to spiral around the shrubs and trees in my garden, and blocking out loads of sunlight in the process.  It would probably look nice, but the jasmine, apart from throwing out masses of green growth doesn't seem to flower.  I'm hoping at some point the ceanothus underneath it will rot and topple over taking the jasmine with it, although not sure how long that will take.


Tim am sure the ceanothus will just succombe to weight of jasmine.  It will break down anyway as ceanothus wood gets quite brittle when dead.  You will get your wish and your light back.....not too long

Thanks everyone. much appreciated. think its time to say goodbye!

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