Ceanothus 'Autumnal Blue'

2 litre pot £21.99
available to order from late summer
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Ceanothus 'Autumnal Blue' Californian lilac: Sky-blue flowers in late summer

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: fertile, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: August to October
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    This handsome, evergreen shrub has fluffy clusters of sky-blue flowers from August to October and small, glossy, bright green leaves. It has a strong, upright habit and is ideal for training on a sunny wall, or for the back of a south or west-facing shrub border. Although it is one of the hardier varieties of Californian lilac, it does need protection from strong winds.

  • Garden care: In spring remove any dead or damaged stems, cut back some of the main stems to the base and reduce the stems on the previous year's growth to within 2-4 buds of the older wood.

Delivery options

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Delivery information

Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread
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Summer flowering ceanothus


Although called autumnal blue it flowered in the summer.




Gardening blues?


A decent sized plant was delivered and is doing very well.

The man in the hills



healthy and vigorous plant


Very healthy plant that has thrived. Nothing much in the way of flowers as yet but not reason to think it wont, it survived a hot dry summer and deep frosts too, so seems hardy.




Happy in new surroundings


As expected




Good value ceanothus


Written in Edinburgh, where snow is currently 1 foot deep. Waiting to see how hardy it is after this, its first (really cold) Scottish winter. Prolonged flowering time from August till the first frosts. Description from Crocus accurate. Arrived very well packaged.

fussy gran

Suburbs of Edinburgh, quite high asl.


I would buy again


The shrub arrived very quickly and was in perfect condition as always from Crocus. When buying from Crocus you know that you are buying quality.


Telford, Shropshire


usual prompt good service


I go to crocus first because their plants are large and so far always sent in good condition. Instructions are clear. Plants sometimes hard to get out of box - too much sellotape!! but they end up fine and so far no deaths! I do do thorough research so I know what I want.

Gardeners Friend

Great Missenden, Bucks


Ceanothus Autumnal Blue

4.7 7


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 Linda

Linda Binfield

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 Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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. Linda

Crocus Helpdesk

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 Doctor

Linda Binfield

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, Gareth

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 Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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.


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 Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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 Margaret


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 Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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, Paula

Paula O'Dwyer

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.

Crocus Helpdesk

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 Andy

Clark, Andy (buying)

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 Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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?

claire hartley

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.


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?

Pat Fox

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/


Can I move my Ceanothus? Several years ago I planted an evergreen Ceanothus (I can't remember which one) next to my patio doors, but we are now considering putting on a conservatory. This means that we would have to move the Ceanothus. It is now about 8 feet high so do you think it will survive moving, and if so when is the best time to do it?

Kim Waite

I'm afraid Ceanothus don't usually transplant well so it would be better to start off with a new plant rather than move the existing one. However if you are very attached to the plant then I there is no harming in trying to move it - it as a 50-50 chance of surviving. The best time to move evergreen shrubs is ideally in the autumn or early spring. This is because the water demand the foliage places on the roots is at its lowest so the newly moved plant can put new roots on before the onset of warmer weather. If essential these plants could be moved at anytime of year but you would need to be very liberal with the watering until it was established and the chances of success without extreme care are reduced. When moving the plant always prepare the planting hole first then take as much of the rootball and surrounding soil of the plant as possible. Water very well after planting and keep a keen eye that it doesn't dry out especially during the first year after moving. If the plant doesn't survive then we do sell a good range of ceanothus on our site, below is the link to the relevant page. http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/results/?q=ceanothus


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