Alphabetical Plant Listing

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey Tea)

New Jersey Tea, Indian Tea, Mountain Sweet, Wild Pepper, Walpole Tea, Wild Snowball, Redroot, Ceanothus americanus var. intermedius, Ceanothus americanus var. pitcheri, Ceanothus intermedius


Low-growing, Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey Tea) is a bushy, upright, deciduous shrub boasting oval clusters of tiny, fragrant, white flowers in spring. Lasting over a moderately extended period, they rise from the leaf axils at the end of the new shoots and attract butterflies in search of nectar. The foliage of broad-ovate, rich, glossy green leaves, 4 in. long (10 cm), with gray, hairy undersides, may develop yellowish hues in the fall. The dried leaves of this nitrogen-fixing shrub were considered one of the best substitutes for tea during the American Revolution. Extremely adaptable, this North American native species can withstand inhospitable conditions, including infertile, dry soils. A great shrub for use as a groundcover on banks and slopes and a nice addition to a butterfly garden.

  • Grows up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 3-5 ft. wide (90-150 cm).
  • Thrives in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. Best in sandy loams or rocky soils with excellent drainage. Drought and dry soil tolerant.
  • Excellent plant for sunny areas, banks and slopes, shrub borders or native plant gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for leaf spot and powdery mildew.
  • Easy to grow, this plant is difficult to transplant once established.
  • Propagate by seed (cold stratified for one month), semi-hardwood cuttings, softwood cuttings.
  • Native to the eastern U.S. and southeastern Canada west to Manitoba, Missouri and Louisiana.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ceanothus - California Lilac
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 48" – 60" (120cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers

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By Svetlana Mahovskaya, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ceanothus - California Lilac
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 48" – 60" (120cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Ceanothus - California Lilac

Guides with Ceanothus - California Lilac

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