The Q&A Archives: Information And Planting Instructions

Question: I need information on how to care for and description of a Longwood Blue Caryopertis. I bought it at Green's Feed in Charleston, WV.

Answer: Caryopteris is a nearly herbaceous shrub that has bright blue flowers in late summer above silvery foliage. 'Longwood Blue' has gray-green foliage and bluish violet flowers. It's mature size is 2-4' tall and wide.

Plant bluebeards in average to rich, well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. Treat this shrub as an herbaceous perennial and cut it back in late winter or early spring. Flowers bloom late in the year on new growth. Plants are only hardy to Zone 5 but often self sow and are easy to root from softwood cuttings. In warmer climates and in fertile soil plants can be rampant and should still be pruned back.

Caryopteris is a wonderful plant in the late summer garden. If you lightly prune the spent blooms the flowers will persist until frost. Plant them at the middle or back of the perennial border, in mass or as a filler where the gray-green foliage provides an interesting accent. Combine it with ornamental grasses, asters, Boltonia, and Japanese anemones.

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