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How to Plant a Ceanothus

Ceanothus is more commonly known as California lilac and is a beautiful flowering shrub. There are many varieties of ceanothus, most of which bloom blue flowers in the spring and are hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10. They are extremely drought resistant and prefer dry, well draining soil. In fact, when ceanothus are not thriving, it is often because they are being watered too much.

Choose a location that is in full sun. Ceanothus needs good water drainage, so consider planting on a south or west facing slope.

Mix in several inches of humus into your planting site to make the soil more conducive to water drainage. Do this by using a garden rake, tiller or hoe to turn over your soil to a depth of 12 inches and then slowly add the humus as you till. Examples of humus are compost, peat moss and manure.

Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the container your ceanothus came in. The depth should be a couple inches smaller as the container‘s height. Space multiple caenothus at least 4 feet apart. Some species can grow to be 8 feet wide, so space according to your ceanothus' specific needs.

Take the ceanothus out of its container and set it in the hole. The top should be a couple inches above the surface. This will aid in water drainage also.

Backfill the soil and pack it down until it is firm to get rid of all the air pockets. Form a slope from the base of the trunk--which was planted a couple inches higher than the surface--to the ground.

Water your ceanothus well. You do not need to fertilize or mulch your plant. In addition, do not continue to water your caenothus unless severe drought conditions exist and then, only water about an inch of water very slowly about a foot from its base.

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