Bring the Outdoors Home

New Jersey Tea | Plant Profile

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) are small to medium, rounded shrubs with dense foliage. These small shrubs are native to the brushlands and prairies of the American midwest. Small clusters of fragrant white flowers sprout on the ends of stalks. The medium green leaves were dried and used as a caffeine free tea substitute during the American Revolutionary War.

New Jersey Tea prefers average fertility, dry to medium, well drained soils in full sun to part shade. The good drainage of rocky soils can be appreciated. The roots reach deep into the ground to make these shrubs drought tolerant, but they also become hard to transplant once established.

New Jersey Tea can be a good border for wildflower gardens or naturalized areas. When planted in mass, they can become a groundcover for hard-to-grow areas, such as hillsides or rocky cliffs.


New Jersey Tea Characteristics

New Jersey Tea are small wildflower shrubs that used to be used as a tea substitute. The small white flower are fragrant and attract bees and other beneficial insects. Hummingbirds are know to frequent these small shrubs. Their small size makes them an effective groundcover when grouped together over rocky or dry locations.

These low maintenance, easy to care for shrubs have few disease and insect issues. Leaf spot and powdery mildew are possible. Root rot may occur in poorly drained soils.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 4 - 8
3.00 - 4.00'
3.00 - 5.00'
Bloom Time
May - June
Dry - Medium
Full Sun - Part Shade
Deer Resistant?