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Ceanothus griseus horizontalis (Carmel Creeper California Lilac)

  • Common Name
    Carmel Creeper California Lilac
  • CA Native
    California Native
  • Plant Type
    Ground Cover
  • Size
    1' - 3' x 3' - 6'
  • Flower Color
    Light Blue
  • Bloom Time
    • Spring
  • Leaves
    Glossy, Bright Green
  • Evergreen
    Evergreen
  • Deer Resistant
    Occasionally Damaged
  • Wildlife Value
    • Bees
  • Growth Rate
    Moderate
  • Hardiness
    Hardy
  • Adverse Growth Factors
    None
  • Special Features
    • Erosion Control
    • Fragrance
    • Low Maintenance
    • Showy Flowers
  • Water Use
    • Low
  • Soil pH
    6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Exposure
    • Full Sun
    • Partial Shade
    • Shade
  • Soil Type
    Not Particular
  • Drainage
    Well Drained
  • Description and Cultural Plant Tips

    The Carmel Creeper Ceanothus is a dense, dark green groundcover with 1 inch long light blue flowers. It looks good cascading over walls or berms, on hillsides for erosion control and can also be used as a tall replacement for grass. Deer like to munch on this plant but will not kill it. If you have a deer problem look for a small leafed variety such as C. 'Joyce Coulter'.

    Plant slight above grade in well-drained soil. This Ceanothus does okay in heavy clay soils but it is best to add compost to provide better drainage. Needs no amendments or fertilizers. It requires little to no water in summer and will live longer with less summer water. Benefits from light pruning after plant flowers.

    Enjoyed by bees and beneficial insects. It is also a treat for deer.

    Although quite resistant to diseases and pests, Ceanothus can be attached by aphids & whitefly but these are easy to control.  Can develop root rot from water molds if watered to much in the summer or if drainage is poor.

  • Master Gardener Comments

    I have this Ceanothus cascading over a wall and it looks lovely in the spring. The bright green foliage looks good all the time. It does get nibbled by deer. Do not water in summer for a longer life.

  • Varietals
    N / A