The Q&A Archives: Dark Knight BlueBeard

Question: I've experienced a problem with my Dark Knight plants. It seems that the branches are slowly breaking off and dieing. The plant was full this spring but each month one branch breaks off and I can?t tell if it?s related to wind since I have two in the same area and the one is growing well. The root system seems to be ok because I?m getting new growth and I?ve made sure no mulch is against the plant so it doesn?t rot the stems. I was wondering if you?ve received any other problems related to this with the Dark Knights. I love the plant but want to try and help it how ever I can. If you can shed a little light on a possible solution I would appreciate it. Thanks for your help. If you need a digital picture let me know and I could get it to you?

Answer: Caryopteris clandonensis 'Dark night' is typically a trouble free aromatic shrub so I'm at a loss to explain why you're having difficulty with one of yours. It general grow 30" tall and wide, grows in full sun to part shade in average, well-draining soil. Bees love this bush and it also attracts butterflies. For best performance, cut back in late winter. In early spring, cut the previous year's growth back to young healthy buds and cut weak stems back to ground level. This renewal pruning will assure your Dark Night will have only healthy new stems all season long.

Best wishes with your garden!

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