Caryopteris - Care Guide

Caryopteris - Care guide

Blue beard, Blue Spiraea

Caryopteris are attractive small shrubs or, perhaps, subshrubs which can be used in mixed shrub and herbaceous borders. They all grow not much more than 3ft in height in maturity and can be a bit frost tender in all but the milder parts of the country. These are plants which, if we do not remember to overwinter under polythene tunnels, may not, in pots, survive a winter freeze up. In the garden, one established, they can be rather more resilient especially if sheltered from cold east winds. Outside, some dieback may well occur and is, perhaps, normal so it is best to give your plants a light or more determined pruning depending on how the plant reshoots and the severity of the previous winter. Once established these plants do become much more frost hardy.

Caryopteris have aromatic foliage and flowers which appear from the new growth and are various shades of blue. The flowers appear in late summer and on into the autumn so these are useful plants at a time when the garden is starting to shut down with little colour.

These plants are easily propagated from fresh summer growth cuttings but the seed is easy to grow too if sown in containers in a cold frame.

We offer several forms of C. x clandonensis:

‘Heavenly Blue’ is popular for its erect habit, silvery grey leaves and dark blue flowers.

‘Kew Blue’ has grey-green leaves with silvery undersides and dark blue flowers.

‘Worcester Gold’ has, as you would expect, yellow foliage and lavender-blue flowers.

‘Stephi’ has a much more compact habit and bright blue flowers.

C. incana ‘Summer Sunshine’ grows slightly larger overall and is more of a mound forming shrub with ovate toothed grey-green leaves and bright violet-blue flowers in more rounded cymes.


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