New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up New Jersey Tea
Give a thumbs up Redroot
Give a thumbs up Ceanothus
Give a thumbs up Redshank
Give a thumbs up Wild Snowball
Give a thumbs up Mountain Sweet

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Plant Height: 3-5 feet
Plant Spread: 3-5 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Uses: Groundcover
Will Naturalize
Eating Methods: Tea
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: Stratify 60-90 days at 41 degrees
Scarify seeds: Nicking or soaking
Other info: Established plants do not transplant well.
Pollinators: Wasps
Moths and Butterflies
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


Posted by sheryl (Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ - Zone 9b) on Dec 12, 2011 6:37 PM

Easily grown shrub, can grow in both dry soils and partly moist soils. Prefers sandy or rocky soils with good drainage. Deep roots aid in drought tolerance.

Provides winter interest: new twigs are bright yellow and stand out.

Common name came from when the plant's dried leaves were used as a tea substitute during the American Revolutionary War.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 29, 2017 3:48 PM

A dense small shrub of multiple upright yellow-brown to red-brown stems that get about 3 feet high. It bears short, broad, dense, upright spikes of little white flowers that have a little fragrant scent in June-July for about 2 or 3 weeks. Its root system is shallow but made of large, coarse, lateral roots of dark red color, nitrogen-fixing, and making the plant difficult to transplant. In nature it grows in upland well-drained soils of woodland edges, meadows, prairie, and glades. Its native range is a little of southeast Canada north of Lakes Erie and Ontario, southern New England down into central Florida, to east Texas, up to central Minnesota. I had one for several years, but it died out because of the increasing shade of bigger plants and in winter the rabbits would eat it down to the ground. The leaves are edible for humans and a tea can be made from them. It is available from large, diverse nurseries, native plant nurseries, and specialty nurseries. Not well-known or used by the general public in yards. Occasionally used by landscape architects and designers and park district staff who know the nice, cute, little plant.

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Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On June 17, 2017 Potted up
MrsBinWY On February 17, 2017 Seeds germinated
noticed radical on one seed in baggy in fridge (this one didn't emerge after being up potted)
MrsBinWY On January 28, 2017 Seeds sown
Per Prairie Moon instructions: B, C70, H (I didn't scarify mine); baggy in fridge, seeds from treehugger, 26 (11 empty, 8 sank, 7 didn't); jugged 4-15-17
aspenhill On May 3, 2017 Obtained plant
NGA Susan (Muddy1) - qty 1
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Large Flowering/Evergreen Bushes to Edge Property by Izroion Mar 12, 2020 6:49 PM 5
bushes for the front of the house by random_bunny75 Aug 20, 2018 8:49 PM 30
Ceanothus americanus L. (New Jersey tea), red osier do by UrbanWild Jan 17, 2018 9:43 AM 0
Has anyone renovated their entire yard? by SkipNJ Jan 15, 2018 1:11 PM 15
Cuttings...need advice.. by outofthegreen Aug 30, 2016 1:29 AM 19
Again Seeking Suggestions by Chillybean Feb 18, 2016 9:11 PM 18
Nectar plants for butterflies and hummingbirds by purpleinopp Jan 19, 2019 4:27 AM 25
Are you sowing any new wildflowers this year? by SongofJoy Feb 17, 2013 1:41 PM 8
Looking for New Jersey Tea seeds. by frostweed May 23, 2012 4:01 PM 2
Are you adding any new perennials of any kind this year? by SongofJoy May 13, 2012 6:47 AM 130

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