Garden Tip 133:


Caryopteris is a fragrant shrub that bursts into color in the late summer garden while many other plants and shrubs are fading into fall. It is not a huge shrub, growing to only about three feet tall and wide.

It sometimes behaves more like an herbaceous perennial than a woody shrub, sending up new shoots from the ground each spring. Many gardeners prefer this and will cut it back hard early in the growing season. Flower buds develop on new wood so this type of spring pruning is recommended.

The best thing about this plant is that the flowers are blue, a hard to find color especially in the fall garden. Caryopteris ‘Blue Mist’ has powder blue flowers while ‘Dark Night’ has deep blue to purple flowers. These plants are deer, drought, and rabbit resistant and require very little maintenance. Their flowers attract a whole host of beneficial insects and are a great source of sustenance for butterflies and hummingbirds as they prepare for their fall migration.