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By Annella

Northamptonshire, United Kingdom Gb

I have 4 Ceanothus thyriflorus repens growing in various parts of my garden, after Decembers freezing weather they have all turned black and look very dead. Is there any chance that they will grow back in spring?
The one in the photo is at the top of my slope and will be very difficult to remove if dead as it is now quite deep rooted.




You've got such a beautiful combination of plants there, Annella - it would be a terrible shame if you've lost it. But so many things are looking "black" just now . . . I'd give it the benefit of the doubt, and look for new growth in March before any drastic treatment.

Hopefully, another GoYer will have more in-depth knowledge of this shrub.

19 Jan, 2011


no definitive answer, I'm afraid, Annella. As you know, not only are these comparatively short lived shrubs, but also can keel over in very cold winters - as Sheila says, you will just have to wait and see if they start growing again in spring, and cut back to live wood if necessary.

19 Jan, 2011


Agree with the above. I love your beautiful garden.

19 Jan, 2011


Just be a lttle paitient, whilst the main top growth has been badly burnt by the cold, there may be small shoots on the main stem which have been protected by the top growth, if the top growth has been killed off then remove all of this and cut hard back, it may look unsightly but if shoots are there, then it will respond to its former glory, given a year or two, however dont prune just yet in case we get some more severe weather,possibly wait untill late March early April, and prtect in future winters. Julien

19 Jan, 2011


Many ceanothus have done that this winter. Most will recover on their own, and the blackened leaves will fall off as the new growth comes through. I wouldn't cut back until danger of frost has passed. You may not need to if the new growth is good enough, and that will save your flowers, too. Worthy

19 Jan, 2011


I don't think Ceanothus is very deep rooted. We have lost 2 with windrock in a rather sheltered garden. We had a larger one than yours, in a border, it became unsightly, we cut it level, and left the root in. No sign of it now about 3 or 4 years later. They seem to be at their best, and then start to fail. We have had about six over the years. Another opportunity to plant afresh. What a lovely garden......and so steep too!!!!!

20 Jan, 2011


Thanks every one, I will wait and see if there are any signs of life before I try to remove it. I planted 5 on the slope when I first moved in nearly 10 years ago but removed the other 4 over time to make room for more of a variety of shrubs. Dorjac I cut the others level as I was worried that digging them out would make the slope unstable and after a while other plants covered any remaining stump. It will be sad if this one has died but I agree it's a chance to plant something new.

20 Jan, 2011


Average life span for these is 10 - 15 years, though occasionally you get them go on longer, Annella, so you've had your moneysworth if they have keeled over.

20 Jan, 2011


I agree Bamboo, this one is 10 years old now so it's done well....maybe time for a change.

20 Jan, 2011

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