Anyone else a fan of this plant? This is my first year to have it in
the garden, and I LOVE it! (I had never even seen it before, until I
planted it based on a gardening plan recommendation.)
It looked nice as foliage all summer, and then burst forth into
gorgeous deep blue late-September bloom. It looks good next to the
hot-pink asters, which bloomed about the same time. I had no idea the
2 Caryopteris x clandonensis plants (bushes maybe?) would grow so well
and look so good. It's nice to have something work out unexpectedly
like that, and also to know that I have an honest-to-goodness
long-blooming hardy perennial (I hope . . .).
It is really easy to propagate if you want more. I pruned mine one year and
threw the cuttings into the compost pile. Weeks later I had to move the
pile and found the cuttings alive and sprouting. The next spring I put
cuttings into containers of moist potting mix and set them in the shade.
Several weeks later they had developed roots and I transplanted them. For
some reason the original plants started to decline and eventually died. The
new plants are doing well. They give the garden some fresh color late in
the season and the bees really love them.
Caryopteris also has a variety with gold leaves. Its flowering season, in my
experience, is a little shorter than the darker leaved variety, but just as
attractive to bees. The gold-leaved plant has the advantage of giving some
interest to the garden in its non-bloom time. But I like both. Many
gardening sources say that caryopteris is somewhat tender its first year in
the ground, and therefore should be planted in the spring or early summer,
rather than in the fall. I have also read that you can shear off the fading
blooms to get another flush, but since it blooms here in early september, I
have never done that, since it's possible for us to get a frost my Sept 15 -
however, this year we have yet to have any frost.
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