The Q&A Archives: Fascination Arabian Lilac

Question: I bought 3 of these and have never seen this type before. Will they survive in Suffolk Va. ? Should I trim back in the fall or wait through the winter?

Answer: The Arabian lilac (Vitex trifolium purpurea ?Fascination?), while not a true lilac, is a good alternative for warm-weather gardeners and a colorful plant in any landscape. It features lilac-blue flower panicles on purple-colored foliage.

?Fascination? grows quickly into a shrub 6 to 8 feet tall and wide. Its foliage is a blushed purple on top and dark purple on the bottom. The flowers appear from new growth all summer. Although not fragrant, the shrub still gives a lilac-like appearance in the garden and is attractive even when it?s not flowering.

?Fascination? grows best in full sun. Since it's only hardy to USDA zone 9, it?s best grown as an annual or protected perennial in most areas of the country. It also looks great in containers or as an accent plant on a deck or patio.

Since these plants will not survive winter temperatures below about 25 degrees, you may need to find a protected spot in your garden, or you might want to try over-wintering them indoors (in a sunny window or under fluorescent lights).

Best wishes with your new plants!

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