Plant of the week – Caryopteris
Caryopteris, commonly known as Bluebeard, Blue Spirea or Blue Mist is a welcome addition to the garden since it blooms beginning in late summer through autumn. It prefers a well-drained, sunny to partly sunny location and can be drought tolerant once established. Caryopteris typically reaches a height of approximately two to three feet tall and wide. You can plant them in mass for a stunning display or add to the back of a border for a bright blue-purple pop of color. It is a great pollinator plant for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects towards the end of the season when nectar sources are scarce. Caryopteris is relatively disease resistant, pest-free and its aromatic foliage makes it unappetizing for deer and other animals.
Caryopteris have roots that are winter hardy in Northern NJ, but the top growth is not reliably hardy in our area. For Caryopteris x clandonensis varieties watch for buds to swell on the stems in spring and cut off any dead wood. Caryopteris divaricata dies completely back in winter so look for growth at the base of the stem. All varieties bloom on new growth so prune back any leggy stems early in the season to promote increased flower production and compact habit.
We are growing the hard to find Caryopteris divaricata ‘Snow Fairy’, a variegated cultivar native to the Himalayas, as well as Lil’ Miss Sunshine® which has bright yellow leaves and varieties with green foliage like ‘Grand Bleu™’ and ‘Blue Empire’ all with beautiful blue to purple long-lasting flowers.
Rohsler’s Grown Caryopteris are grown locally and naturally at our nursery.