The Q&A Archives: California Lilac

Question: We bought a California Lilac last year. It doesn't seem to grow and the flowers are very small clusters. I just moved it trying to get it to grow and look healthy. The leaves aren't even growing. Any suggestions?

Answer: Ceanothus, the California Lilac, is one of those plants that seems to thrive on neglect. It's a native in your gardening region and will grow in full sunshine, in unamended soil that's kept on the dry side. If your shrub isn't growing well, transplanting it to another spot in the garden might be just what it needs. Now that you've replanted it, try watering deeply only once every 7-10 days (when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry). It will take some time to establish its roots so you may not see appreciable new growth or flower clusters until next spring.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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