California Lilacs, or Ceanothus, are some of our
most fragrant and colorful shrubs here in California. They are
also evergreen and very drought tolerant.
The myth of Ceanothus being short-lived is
primarily spread by incompetent gardeners that insist on drip irrigation, summer water and soil
amendments. Drought tolerant California native plants hate all three (except irrigation the first summer). Expect a
20-25 year life from your Ceanothus in most gardens. We have many
Mountain Lilacs in the ground here that still look good after
Ceanothus are notorious for being loved by deer.
However, this is not entirely true. Without water or fertilizing a
Ceanothus looks much less appetizing to a deer. Some species are
still viewed as candy in areas where deer populations are high.
But many are OK in low or