- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: May to June
- Hardiness: frost hardy (needs winter protection in cold areas)
In late spring, this dense, evergreen shrub produces dazzling spheres of tiny dark blue flowers on arching branches among small, glossy, dark green leaves. It is ideal for a sunny mixed border on neutral to alkaline soil and once it has flowered, provides an excellent foil for later flowering deciduous shrubs or perennials.
- Garden care: Each year after the plant has flowered, reduce the shoots by one third and apply a 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the base of the plant.
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Q:Photinia 'Red Robin' has black spots on leaves? Also shrubs for sunny border please
Hello Crocus Can you tell me why my Photinia 'Red Robin' has black spots on its leave - and how to treat it please! Many thanks LindaAsked on 4/7/2010 by Linda Binfield
A:Hello again Linda, Viburnum tinus 'French White' is an evergreen shrub that flowers in late winter and spring, so you could get too seasons of interest - just click on the following link to go straight to it. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/viburnum-tinus-french-white/classid.4484/ Mahonias will flower in winter too http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.mahonia/ while Daphne odora Aureomarginata is pretty early in the spring http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/daphne-odora-aureomarginata/classid.3751/ For shrubs that flower throughout the summer, then here are some of my favourites:- Ceanothus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.ceanothus/ Lavender http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.lavandula/ Hebe http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.hebe/ I hope this gives you a few ideas. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/7/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:I'll try that Helen - thank you. Also I have a lovely Crocus voucher to spend! I have just cleared an old sunny border in front of an ornamental wall. I have kept a large Hydrangea at the end of the border but would like a couple of shrubs to put alongside to give some winter colour. Do you have any suggestions that would complement the Hydrangea? Thank you for your prompt reply. LindaAnswered on 4/7/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello Linda, The most likely cause of these black spots is Fungal Leaf Spot. This can be caused by a number of things, but is usually a result of the plant being stressed in some way. It may be that it was slightly too cold in winter, or if it is in a pot it may need to be moved to a larger one, or planted out into the ground. Keep an eye on the watering and try to improve the general growing conditions and you should start to see new growth. If the black spots are really unsightly, you should pick off the affected leaves (being careful not to defoliate it completely) and give it a feed with a general purpose fertiliser like Growmore. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/7/2010 by Linda Binfield
Q:Ceonothus 'caught' by cold weather....
Hi, I wonder if you could help me! I have a large, established low-growing Ceanothus that has never had a problem with the cold weather before, but this year's snow has caused most of the usually evergreen foliage to turn brown and take a turn for the worse. There is still some foliage towards the bottom of the plant that's still green. Do I leave it be, trim it back or has it died? Many thanks, GarethAsked on 2/26/2010 by Anonymous
A:Hello Gareth, Ceanothus are not fully hardy, and they are quite short-lived too, so they usually only last around 6 - 8 years. Therefore I suspect that the combination of old age and freezing temps have taken their toll and it is time to replace it. I'm sorry not to be more help. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 2/26/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Clay loving evergreen plant for covering a wall
Sir, I need to hide an ugly brick wall. I would prefer to have all year cover, meaning evergreen, and not over 6` or so tall, and able to thrive in my clay rich soil. I thought of a blue lilac but am not sure if the roots could cope. A variety of plants might look nice and would breakup the monotony of the wall, but your advice would be much appreciated. Sincerely, Dorothy.Asked on 12/17/2009 by dorothy
A:Hello Dorothy, There are several plants you could consider, including the Ceanothus if your soil is not too heavy. Alternatively any of the following would work well Aucuba http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.aucuba/ Elaeagnus x ebbingei http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/elaeagnus-%C3%97-ebbingei-/classid.3772/ Garrya http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/garrya-elliptica-james-roof/classid.3880/ Pyracantha http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.pyracantha/ I hope this gives you a few ideas. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 12/17/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub....
Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don't have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards MargaretAsked on 12/5/2009 by D DRAKETT
A:Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don't normally live longer than 6 - 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 12/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Best time to plant Climbing Roses
Hi I am considering planting 3 types of climbing roses along fencing in my new garden. Could you please advise me on the best time to plant? I have choosen the 3 varieties I want to plant from your range. Can you send me a catalogue please? Thank you for your helpAsked on 9/29/2009 by Anonymous
A:Hello There, The best time to plant new roses is in autumn, although they can be planted at any time of the year as long as the ground isn't frozen in winter and they are kept well watered in summer. As for the catalogue, I'm afraid we do not do a paper catalogue any more, but we do have an online version - just click on the following link to go straight to it. http://www.crocus.co.uk/ecatalogue I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/29/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Which Ceanothus - Puget Blue,Concha or Autumnal Blue?
Hello, I would like to plant 5 Ceanothus along the edge of my patio in large concrete rings. I was hoping that the Ceanothus would quickly grow to form a cascading effect between the concrete rings, can you advise me which variety would be best and what soil to fill the tubs with, thank you, sincerely, PaulaAsked on 7/4/2009 by Paula O'Dwyer
A:Hello Paula, All of the Ceanothus you have listed are upright and shrubby, so if you want to create a cascading look then the best option would be Ceanothus thyrsiflorus repens, which will tumble over the edges of the rings.Answered on 7/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Rabbit proof shrubs
Dear Sirs We are planning to plant a 30mt long border with flowering shrubs and have assorted colours of Rhododendrons in mind. Our main concern is that the shrubs must be rabbit proof as the border is adjacent to woods and a large grassed area. Also, where possible we would like to have 'flowers' on the shrubs throughout the summer. Would you be able to provide a picking list of suitable shrubs? Thank you for your prompt attention AndyAsked on 6/15/2009 by Clark, Andy (buying)
A:Hello there, These are really troublesome pests, and there are no effective deterrents available (apart from getting a guard dog) which will be any help to you. They tend to prefer leaves and soft stems rather than flowers and woody stems, and they seem to prefer feeding in exposed positions and often nibble plants at the edge of borders. This habit can be used to the gardener's advantage by planting more valuable subjects in the centre of beds. In winter, when food is scarce, deciduous plants at the edge of beds will not interest rabbits, and will help protect winter flowers in the centre. Below is a list of flowering shrubs which they usually tend to leave alone. Buddleia davidii, Ceanothus Cistus Cotoneaster dammeri Deutzia Hebe Hypericum Hydrangea Mahonia aquifolium Potentilla fructicosa Rhododendron spp. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 6/17/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:How do I care for my climbing rose?
I planted a climbing Iceberg Rose against the back wall of my garden last spring. It shot up from around 2ft to about 7 or 8ft and flowered really well, but it did start becoming bare at the base of the stems. This winter all the bottom leaves have fallen off and there are only a few leaves left on the very top. Is this normal for the time of year, and should I cut it back in spring?Asked on 1/25/2006 by Rachel Fiddes
A:It is perfectly normal for them to lose all their leaves as they are deciduous. Most climbing roses do become bare at the base as they age, as the plant is climbing towards the light so doesn't need the lower leaves to photosynthesis with. Hard pruning each autumn (cutting back some of the older shoots back to the base or to a strong outward facing bud) will help reduce this problem - or you can plant around the base to help cover up the stem.Answered on 1/25/2006 by Crocus
Q:What is wrong with my Ceanothus?
I moved to a new house last August and was pleased to see a good sized Ceanothus shrub in the garden as I love these. However this year after flowering it looks almost dead. All the leaves have dried completely and when I break the small branches they appear to have no moisture left in them. All the surrounding plants are fine. Do you think it will revive if I prune it?Asked on 7/31/2005 by claire hartley
A:Ceanothus are not particularly long-lived plants so it may simply have just come to the end of its life - or it could have dried out too much this summer. I wouldn't recommend pruning it to try and revive it as most Ceanothus don't respond well to hard pruning, so if it looks really bad, then the best thing to do would be to dig it up and replace it with another.Answered on 8/1/2005 by Crocus
Q:What can grow in a pot in a seaside location?
We have a decent-sized front garden and we would love to have something that we can grow in a very large tub. We live very close to the beach so it is sometimes very windy. What can we put out there?Asked on 5/16/2005 by Pat Fox
A:There are some great plants that should be able to cope provided they are kept well fed and watered. Here are some of the best. Ceanothus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.ceanothus/?s=ceanothus Cistus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.cistus/?s=cistus Lavandula http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/mediterranean-plants/lavandula-angustifolia-elizabeth/classid.2000008323/ Convolvulus cneorum http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/mediterranean-plants/convolvulus-cneorum-/classid.940/ Rosmarinus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.rosmarinus/?s=rosmarinus Brachyglottis (Dunedin Group) 'Sunshine' http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/mediterranean-plants/brachyglottis-dunedin-group-sunshine/classid.4376/Answered on 5/13/2005 by Corcus
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