Ceanothus ‘Victoria’

Sometimes I get a plant-thought on the brain and it won’t leave me alone until I do something about it.  This week it is Ceanothus ‘Victoria.’  I know…you can find it just about everywhere, from garden centers to big box stores to speciality nurseries. It’s a tough ‘common’ plant, but I like it.  I’ve grown it before when I first moved up from the Bay Area. I mixed it with Cistus x purpureus because it reminded me of ‘home.’

It did really well and after a few years I ripped it all out because I thought I wanted to go with more of an Asian style foliage garden, only that didn’t work out as I’d hoped. So back to the drawing board.

Anyway, I think C. Victoria is a brilliant plant to use around here. The deep blue blossoms are electrifying, and as for the bees, well, belly up to the bar boys!

I have no photos of my own but  Plant Lust does. If you haven’t yet spent some time on Plant Lust, you really need to. Plant Lust is a wonderful resource for our area.

Here is what Great Plant Picks has to say about Ceanothus ‘Victoria.’

“This selection is simply the hardiest of the California lilacs available and the most reliable for our climate. The brilliant bright indigo blue flowers are an absolute show stopper in the spring and look great against the shiny and dark evergreen foliage. This tough shrub is extremely drought tolerant once established and is a fast grower and will quickly fill an empty space. ‘Victoria’ was one of the best rated Ceanothus in the GPP trials.”

I’ve always seen it grown in its natural shrub form although in the UK it is often shaped into hedges, as a tree, or as an espalier on a south-facing wall.


Ceanothus Hedge, photo courtesy of Paramount Plants

I stumbled on to this photo from the Paramount Plants blog on Blue Flowering Shrubs.  Serendipity! Yep, that’s the ticket!
















6 thoughts on “Ceanothus ‘Victoria’

  1. Hi, Aly,

    I like Ceanothus ‘Victoria,’ but I REALLY like the bright blue ‘Italian Skies,’ that I do not see often in local nurseries. Perhaps the reason is that it is not as hardy. I tried it once, but the next winter was especially wet and cold and it turned out to be an expensive annual (although it seems that even annuals today are expensive, as a trip to garden centers shows). I want to give ‘Italian Skies’ another chance, but I doubt we will have another ‘Italian Skies’-friendly Zone 9 winter like last year when even the pelargoniums in pots on the patio survived.

    Mike Snyder

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ricki, I used to see it used a lot in the Bay area as a highway planting as well as in residential areas. I never thought about shaping or pruning it up until I saw the UK photos. But then Brits always do something interesting with our native plants.


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