Ceanothus 'Skylark'

2 litre pot £19.99
available to order from late summer
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Ceanothus 'Skylark' Californian lilac: A haze of bright blue flowers in early summer

  • 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 and early summer, this bushy evergreen shrub is smothered in clusters of of dark blue flowers among small, dark green, glossy leaves. It looks great in the middle of a south or west-facing mixed border, or as a specimen at the edge of a terrace or path. It requires protection from cold, drying winds.

  • Garden care: Each year after the plant has flowered, take out any dead, diseased or damaged shoots. Apply a 5-7cm mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the base of the plant in autumn.

Delivery options

  • Standard
Delivery information

Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread

Notes on Ceanothus 'Skylark'

"A compact wider-than-tall mound of tight, dark-green leaves studded with bright-blue thimbles in early summer - perfect for smaller gardens"

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All plants I have bought from Crocus are strong &Healthy


Back of small boarder, healthy plant.




Lovely evergreen shrub


This has been planted in a 45cm tall raised bed to avoid getting waterlogged in the wet seasons, it neededfrequent watering in the summer! it is thriving, had lots of blooms and is looking healthy and desease free now. I am hoping that it will not get too big, time will tell if it will need an annual prune.




Small but ok.


Just what I was looking for




Every garden should have one


Great shrub. Easy and versatile. Evergreen and lovely blu flowers




Drought tolerant!


Very healthy on delivery and is tolerating the current drought conditions extremely well. Very happy with this purchase.




Excellent Plant, ideal for the small border


Ideal-sized ceanothus for the small garden.



First class quality


Like everything I've bought from Crocus, it came in perfect condition with clear growing instructions. The website information on the plant made choosing the correct plant for the conditions very easy. I have no criticisms at all.

Overwhelmed gardener

North Norfolk


Ceanothus Skylark

4.7 7


I am desperate for some advise regarding my ceanothus. I have 2 , both evergreen but I do not know anymore than that. Both bushes are growing against a wall and doing very well. That is my problem, they are fast outgrowing their spaces. Can I cut them back now? They flowered beautifully in the spring and do not want to risk killing them, but they are looking very untidy now.


Hello, It is difficult to be specific as the pruning requirements of the ceanothus does vary between the cultivars. As a very general guide however I would say that the spring or early summer flowering evergreen species tend to be pruned in midsummer after they have finished flowering. If the plant is reasonably young, then you can tip prune, but well established plants can have their flowering stems cut back by a third to a half, and then given another light trim in late summer.


Newly purchased Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark' Californian lilac, still flowering but the foliage is turning light green and dropping from the shrub. There is new darker green foliage growing. Is this normal?


Hello there Plants will shed leaves when they are stressed in some way. This can be caused by too much or too little water, too much fertiliser or other chemicals in the soil. I'm afraid I have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of your leaf yellowing, but the fact that it is producing new healthy growth is a good sign. It could be that it is suffering from drought, so I would make sure that the soil is well drained but moist. Hope this helps.

Hi, We have had a glorious ceanothus "Skylark" for 16 years. It is dying off now and I would like to replace it with another one, however, please could you tell me if its roots could cause damage to foundations if it is planted beside the house? Thank you Corylus


Hello, These plants are relatively modest in size and I have never heard of them causing damage to sound foundations.


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

Plants for a sunny bed and clay soil Dear Sir or Madam We have been looking at various shrubs to plant into a border that gets plenty of sun all year round. The soil is clay based, which appears to dry out rapidly but it has been enriched from time to time with compost etc. Would you be able to offer any suggestions as to what we could plant? We have a few plants in the border....a palm that was planted last spring and appears to be establishing itself quite well, a holly tree that needs no attention as it's mature. Also we have 2 conifers which were planted with no real thought to be honest; although they were initially in pots on our decking,- I don't think they will grow too tall due to their variety. We would like something that will flower, but not grow too high, say, no more than 2metres or so in maturity. We are eager to get something of worth growing, as our neighbours have cut down a lot of their trees and shrubs adjacent to our fence, leaving the view somewhat sterile and unappealing. Just for the record, the opposite side of our garden is fine! Any assistance would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you.

peter mcintyre

Hello There, There are several plants that may be suitable - here are some of the best. Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Skylark http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/ceanothus-thyrsiflorus-skylark/classid.728/ Choisya ternata http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/choisya-ternata-/classid.825/ Escallonia Apple Blossom http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/escallonia-apple-blossom/classid.3789/ Viburnum tinus French White http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/viburnum-tinus-french-white/classid.4484/ I hope this helps, Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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

Growing plants for a wedding Dear Crocus, I am a very happy customer ..... I love your site, plants and service. I learnt about you first from Arabella Lennox-Boyd. But now I am writing for some advice please. My sister is getting married in Oxfordshire on the last weekend of May. I would love to grow the flowers for the wedding. I have a big garden with empty beds and a green house at my disposal. Could you give me some advice on types of cut flowers that would be in bloom at the end of May? Some pointers as a place to start my research and buying would be fantastic. Thank you very much, Best wishes, Kate

Kate Olivia Higginbottom

Thank you so much Helen - amazing! I'll send you photos of the finished results. Best wishes and thanks again, Kate

Crocus Helpdesk

Hello Kate, It will be a little hit and miss as a lot will depend on the weather, but the following plants should be in flower around that time. Choisya ternata http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/choisya-ternata-/classid.825/ Osmanthus x burkwoodii http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/osmanthus-%C3%97-burkwoodii-/classid.4171/ Syringa http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.syringa/ Viburnum x carlcephalum http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/viburnum-%C3%97-carlcephalum-/classid.4460/ Convallaria majalis http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.convallaria/ Iris http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.iris/ Paeonia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.paeonia/ Euphorbia palustris http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/euphorbia-palustris-/classid.2794/ Aquilegia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.aquilegia/ Ceanothus Skylark http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/ceanothus-thyrsiflorus-skylark/classid.728/ and if we have a hot start to the summer a couple of roses or some of the earlier lavenders may have started too. I hope this gives you lots of ideas. Helen Plant Doctor

Kate Olivia Higginbottom

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

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

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