California lilac is a beautiful sight in spring when it is covered with blue blooms and the rest of the year its evergreen foliage provides texture and interest with its crepe-paper like leaves with serrated margins. A native of California, it covers the foothills in chaparral communities but makes a fine shrub in the home garden when conditions are suitable. California lilac is adaptable to severe conditions like wind and high temperatures but must have well-drained soil. Bees, butterflies and birds are drawn to it too.

Type: Evergreen shrub

Outstanding Feature: Blue flowers in spring

Form: Rounded

Growth Rate: Moderate

Bloom: Clusters of small blue flowers are produced in spring.

Size: 6-12’ x 10’

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Average, dry, well-drained, slightly acidic (pH 6.5-7)

Fertilizer: Rarely necessary and can actually be harmful.

Hardiness: USDA Zones 8-10

Care: Prune only to shape or remove dead wood

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed; requires scarification and stratification.

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By Karen