New Jersey tea

Ceanothus americanus L.

Family: Rhamnaceae (buckthorn)

  • Bloom Period:
    • Early,
  • Growth Cycle:
    • Perennial,
  • Growth Habit:
    • Shrub,
  • Insect Type Attracted:
    • Natural Enemy,
    • Pollinator,
  • Light:
    • Full,
    • Partial,
  • Region:
    • Southern Lower Peninsula
  • Soil Moisture:
    • Dry,
    • Medium,
  • Height:
    • 2-3ft

Natural enemies attracted

Mildly attractive: Thomisidae, Chalcidoidea, Syrphidae, Empididae, Orius insidiosus, Braconidae and Cynipoidea.

Pollinators attracted

Mildly attractive: bees including yellow-faced bees and sweat bees.

Pests attracted

Highly attractive: lygus bugs.

Mildly attractive: thrips, leafhoppers, rootmaggot flies and aphids.

Plant notes

Airy, white, flower clusters bloom on these plants. Plants were slow to establish, but in their fourth year of growth filled in and bloomed prolifically. Plants bloomed in early July. This species was the fourth least attractive to natural enemies in the mid season, with half as many natural enemies as the grass control.


This plant can grow in full to partial sun and very dry to average moisture. It is often found in high quality prairies, oak savannas and dry open sandy areas.

Cultivation and management

New Jersey tea can be grown from seed (flowers in third to fourth year) or plug material (flowers in second to third year). Although not attractive to natural enemies in the third year of growth, this plant flowered profusely in its fourth year of growth, and may be more attractive to beneficial insects as it matures. This plant is extremely deep-rooted and drought-tolerant.