I planted a small ceanothus last spring. It grew into a 6 ft tall by nearly 6 ft. diameter monster. I don't want it to get any bigger. How far back should / can I prune it? Any particular guidelines about which branches to prune, etc.? What do you think of my (trying to) grow some starts and creating a ceanothus hedge behind my house to keep the deer out? Planted close enough I think they'd be a good deterrent. Thoughts?
Pruning a naturally large shrub to keep it smaller is a challenge. Generally, selecting a plant with the appropriate mature size is easier for the homeowner and the health of the shrub. That said, many of us do prune Ceanothus, sometimes even shearing it. Prune after flowering. How much depends to cut on your size requirements and how your plant responds to the cuts. Sonetimes they grow many new shoots and the plant becomes un-managable. I’ll include a link to instructions for propagation of shrubs. You’ll find additional pages online, possibly with more photos. A hedge might work as a deer deterrent. No promises though. Folks find things that work for a year or more, then suddenly deer show up again. Cutting propagation methods for PNW native shrubs, from WSU: http://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/Chapters/Cuttings.pdf Ceonathus, Oregon State University Lanscape Plants: https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/ceanothus-thyrsiflorus