The Q&A Archives: blue vitox

Question: I found a shrub that was planted at a nearby water company and I would like to know if you know anything about it. They told me it was called blue vitox. I cannot find any information about this plant. It looks a little like a butterfly bush but it is more compact. The flowers are blueish purple. I would appreciate any information you can give me on this plant. Thank You, Joanne Hock

Answer: Vitex agnus castus is an interesting shrub, winter hardy into zone 6 and sometimes zone 5 although it is unusual to see it in such cold areas. In zone 6 it usually grows as a cut-back shrub, meaning it dies back to the ground each winter and then regrows from the roots and blooms each summer. In warmer climates it can grow into a woody, somewhat scrubby, multi-stemmed small tree. In my experience it is more commonly found in herb gardens than as an ornamental in the landscape. To grow it in your area, select a well drained location with protection from winter winds and be sure to mulch the root area heavily in late fall after it is dormant.

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