The Q&A Archives: Ceanothus

Question: Is ceanothus good for planting on a steep clay-soil slope? Will too much water cause root rot?

Answer: Ceanothus, sometimes called California Lilac, grows best in full sunshine. Their native habitats are rocky slopes where little or no water is available. Ceanothus is subject to root rot if soil doesn't drain quickly. A steep slope with clayey soil will probably provide adequate drainage. Try not to water excessively, especially during the growing season. If you decide to plant ceanothus, water regularly during the first dry season, then allow natural rainfall to provide the required moisture during subsequent years.

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