Ceanothus problem?

This Ceanothus had a lot of leaves turn brown on me this spring. I seem to recall it did it last year too. At first I thought it was gong to die, but then it dropped the brown leaves and regained its apparent health. None of my other Ceanothus plants do this, though of course they are different selections and may be better adapted to the garden.

I wonder if it got too much water both years, but then recovered. I added supplemental water in winter, but none after I noticed the brown leaves and probably none for some time before that. The soil is not particularly well drained in this area, so that may be a factor too.

My other thought is that this is normal. It had a nice healthy bloom again this year coming out of winter and maybe it overstretched its reserves to make such a nice bloom. This picture was taken 5/15/09.

Anyone care to clue me in?


  1. Both of mine drop a lot of yellow leaves this time of year, but I don't have this variety. Is that Julia Phelps? I just rub the branches roughly with my hand in a glove and knock off all the dead stuff.

  2. You comment is helpful, thanks. It's good to know that others have periodic leaf drop.

    I've lost the variety that I planted in the mists of time, unfortunately.