Longest Blooming Ceanothus

fallfograin(9)April 17, 2013

I want to plant a ceanothus that I can train into a tree. As much as I love ceanothus, I don't love their short blooming time! I know there are a lot of different varieties out there. I added Dark Star and Ray Hartman to my garden last year and they are looking so good I want more. Does anyone have experience with different varieties who could tell me which ones bloom the longest and the latest?

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Ray Hartman is the longest blooming for me, blooming longer left than Julia Phelps and Dark Star. And ofcourse, the most tree-like.
Mine only blooms a tiny bit in fall, but I have seen some around town that bloom sporadically in fall, maybe they get a lot of water?

I too love ceanthus and got a little over eager and put in way too many of them. I ended up removing Tuxedo and Frosty Blue, only to make room for other plants. Frosty Blue got tree like very fast, and bloomed heavily, but I don't remember if it was noticeably longer blooming than the others.I also grew it at my previous house and was very pleased with it.

I would recommend a variety of other plants, maybe some toyon and manzanitas which could complement the ceanothus so it isn't too monocromatic. And ceanothus do seem so boring at the end of summer and in fall, that is when I succumbed and pulled some out.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:19AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

There are a couple of Ceanothus species and hybrids that are deciduous and summer blooming, but all the west coast evergreen species are relatively short bloom periods. Ray Hartman is probably the best for a tree sized specimen. Joyce Coulter and Julia Phelps are two of my personal favorites. Best species or cultivars for your specific area will depend on how hot you get in summer. If you have the room, Fremontodendron 'California Glory' is a fantastic complement to any Ceanothus, along with Mimulus aurantiacus and Salvia clevelandii and Salvia leucophylla or Artemesia californica.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 12:51AM
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I second Ray Hartman. My oldest one starts budding out in December - no joke - and it still has some flowers. Whereas my San Diego native ceanothus - Oliganthus - was done in three weeks.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 11:50AM
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