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Dead ceanothus

We have an enormous ceanothus which flowered beautifully earlier this year but now, after the heat, it has gone brown and brittle. I will be devastated if it has died as it is almost a tree standing easily 10ft tall. 

There was a poison ivy growing at the base, could this have also had a effect?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,773

    Hi Evilnanny - has it been watered at all since the dry weather started?  Flowering shrubs use quite a lot of water.  Although ceanothus don't like to be waterlogged, if you've not had one of the downpours over the past few days I'd give it a good soaking for half an hour with a hosepipe. 

    As for poison ivy - not sure what you mean - do you mean British native ivy (Hedera helix) or one of the ornamental cultivars?  

    The plant that Americans call Poison Ivy doesn't usually grow in the UK.  

    If you mean Hedera helix 

    then if that's covering the ground at the base of the ceanothus it will be depriving it of moisture and keeping the rain off so I'd remove it from around the base of the shrub. image

    However, be aware that ceanothus can be a short-lived shrub and will sometimes just turn up its toes image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • chickychicky Posts: 10,328

    One way to tell if it is still alive is to use your finger nail to scrape a very small bit of bark off a branch - if it is green underneath it will still be alive. 

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