blue vitox - Knowledgebase Question

bloomsburg, pa
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Question by doughock
August 2, 2006
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 from NGA
August 2, 2006
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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