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Edinburgh, Scotland Sco

What can I do about this?

This ceanothus is in a corner of the front garden. From the front it looks dead but from the back (I can see this side from the kitchen window) it's in flower. Do I cut it back, cut it down or leave well alone and see what happens? If I cut the stem away, I'll be left with an eight foot lollipop!

The sorry little plant to the right of the pic suffered as well. It's a mature choisya that was moved when I gave the front a makeover and it was always going to be hit or miss if it survived but what with that and the frost the poor little thing didn't really stand a chance. Off to the Garden Show in Edinburgh tomorrow so a replacement is on the cards.




ive had the same problem with my rosemary, im still none the wiser why it happened

5 Jun, 2010


Hello Hijuiu, I've been putting it down to frost damage as it was perfectly ok last year. It looks really odd from the front!

5 Jun, 2010


You should remove all dead growth back to live wood -if the resulting shape is awful, wait till the flowers have faded and trim back the rest to try to get a better shape, but don't take off any more than you have to.

5 Jun, 2010


Thanks for that Bamboo. Does that mean there's still hope for it? I keep meaning to scrape at the stem to check for green stuff but haven't done it yet.

The plant is divided at the foot into two main stems. One stem has the brown growth and the other has the live growth.

5 Jun, 2010


Well your ceanothus is clearly alive, its flowering - just that one bit's died off, so cut that bit out.

5 Jun, 2010


Ceanothus is a funny old shrub, we are on our 4th one. They do well for a while, then this sort of thing happens. The same thing happened to our 2nd one as your shrub. Then another bit went brown, so we took it out, and grew a third really large one, that got rocked in a gale and slowly failed.

5 Jun, 2010


They're not long lived shrubs, that's for sure.

5 Jun, 2010


Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Looking at the picture (why is it easier to see things in a pic?) I think I'll wait till it finished flowering, cut down the brown bit as it's the whole stem down to the base then reshape the bit that's left as suggested by Bamboo. At least I'll feel as if I'm giving it a chance and if it looks too stupid, it'll have to go!

5 Jun, 2010

How do I say thanks?

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