Caryopteris Dark Blue – Blue Mist Shrub
Profuse, cobalt-blue flowers cover the plant in late summer and autumn.
This is a deciduous and medium sized shrub when grown in Motueka, reaching 1½m, with aromatic grey-green leaves. The flowers develop from axilliary racemes that unfurl over many weeks. And as each shoot grows so more racemes are produced, making this flower over a period of some three months. It is highly attractive to bees and butterflies.
This garden form of Caryopteris is from a cross between C. incana × C. mongholica, produced by accident in the UK in the 1930’s. It has since escaped in North America, where is now common. The original species are native to China, Mongolia, Japan and Korea. C. mongholica comes from the dry steppes of Mongolia and C. incana from the hillsides of inland China.
Soil / Aspect:
Requires well drained soil and tolerates drought. The plant is remarkably tolerant to conditions overwinter, when it seems to be completely dormant. It is fully hardy. Will tolerate a range of soil types and pH. Best in full sun. Avoid exposed situations.
Generally pest and disease free. Let all the leaves drop and wait for the newest growth to die over winter, then prune off the dead growth and old seed heads to a framework ending in stems some 5mm across. The entire framework grows each to reach its final height after about five years. New growth in the spring will reveal if any stems have died and these can be nipped out then.