Photo: Bluebeard 'Heavenly Blue'
Photo: Bluebeard 'Heavenly Blue'

Bluebeard 'Heavenly Blue'

Botanical name: Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Heavenly Blue'

General description

Common Name: bluebeard
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Periwinkle blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flowers: Showy Flowers, Fragrant Flowers
Leaves: Fragrant
Tolerates: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers loose loams. Tolerates some drought. Intolerant of wet, poorly-drained soils. Roots are winter hardy to USDA Zone 5, but top growth is only reliably hardy to USDA Zone 7. Consequently, plants are generally grown as shrubby, soft-wooded perennials north of USDA Zone 7 by pruning stems back hard each year in early spring. Regardless of pruning intentions, stems will often die to the ground in the cold winters of Zones 5 and 6, with roots surviving to push up new stems in spring. Even in warm winter climates where the stems usually survive winter, gardeners frequently still prune the plants back hard in early spring to promote vigorous new stem growth. Flowering is unaffected by spring pruning because plants bloom on new growth.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Bluebeard (also commonly called blue spirea or blue mist) is a low-mounded, deciduous shrub that is valued for its aromatic foliage and late summer flowers which are said to resemble clouds of blue smoke or mist. Clandonensis hybrids typically produce about 18-30" of growth per year, so total shrub height (usually from 2-3') depends in large part upon the extent of winter dieback and/or the annual spring pruning. 'Heavenly Blue' is a compact cultivar that features a profuse, shrub-covering bloom of fragrant, periwinkle blue flowers in terminal and axillary clusters (cymes) from late summer into fall. Ovate to lance-shaped, silvery-gray leaves (to 1.5" long). Foliage is aromatic when brushed with a hand. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Crowns may rot in wet, poorly-drained soils.

Garden Uses

Perennial borders. Shrub borders. Very effective in large groups or massed. Also effective as a low hedge. Valued for its late summer to fall flowers when few other shrubs are in bloom.

Properties

Height
1 - 70 cm
Color
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