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The Ray Hartman ceanothus is one of the largest cultivars to be grown in ornamental landscape and gardens. It becomes a large mounding shrub to small tree, growing 15-20 ft. tall and as wide. Dense foliage is comprised of large 1-3 in. long leaves that are dark glossy green above and pale beneath. Large plumes of medium blue flowers create a striking display in early spring.

Ray Hartman ceanothus is widely recognized for its handsome foliage and heavy flower production, and has proven to be one of the most garden tolerant of all Ceanothus. It is a vigorous grower that can be trained into a small tree or specimen plant and used for screening and among slope plantings. It shows good tolerance to heat and full sun in warmer inland locations. Established plants need only monthly deep summer watering for good summertime performance.

Water Needs

Ray Hartman ceanothus thrives in Inland Empire gardens with normal winter rains and monthly summer irrigation. Like other cultivars of Ceanothus it is vulnerable to disease problems and sudden death when summer irrigation produces moist soil and leaf litter conditions during the summer months.

The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; it is desirable to have leaf litter and the top layer of soil beneath the canopy to dry out between irrigation applications.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Mounding, Dense
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 15 ft. - 20 ft.
Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Blue
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, Drought, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Slopes, Flowering accent plant, California native, Background plant, Attracts butterflies


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