Alphabetical Plant Listing

Caryopteris - Bluebeards

Bluebeard, Blue Mist, Blue Spirea, Blue Mist Spirea, Caryopteris incana, Caryopteris x clandonensis, Caryopteris divaricata (Caryopteris)


Prized for their long season of interest and easy care, Caryopteris (Bluebeard, Blue Mist, or Blue Spirea) are terrific deciduous shrubs with fragrant true blue flowers in late summer and fall. Attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects, they add a welcomed splash of color in the late season garden when few other shrubs are in bloom.

As valuable as the flowers, their dense foliage of aromatic leaves is also one of their great attributes, adding interest from the time they appear in spring until frost. Superb additions to most sunny garden settings, Bluebeards can also fit small spaces and containers. One of the best small shrubs for late color, they are worth repeating several times over in a border to give a strong fall effect.

  • Native to Mongolia and parts of China and Japan, Caryopteris are soft-wooded shrubs or subshrubs that behave more like herbaceous perennials than like woody shrubs. In hardiness zones 5-6, their above-ground growth tends to die back. But their roots remain hardy. When pruned hard in early spring, Caryopteris will produce bright blue flowers on all new wood.
  • Caryopteris grow about 2-4 ft. tall and wide (60-120 cm), and form relatively low-mounding, dome-shaped shrubs. They carry profuse clusters of deep blue flowers arranged round the stems, at every leaf section, like the tiers of a wedding cake. The blossoms are followed by seed heads that are ornamental in dried arrangements. Usually soft green, the foliage of small, finely textured leaves, can be quite colorful with gorgeous silvery blue-green, golden, chartreuse or variegated leaves. The contrast between the bright blue flowers and the bright yellow leaves is particularly eye-catching.
  • Virtually pest free, Caryopteris are also deer resistant.
  • Another feature of Caryopteris that makes it a great garden plant for the heat of summer, is their drought tolerance. Once established, Caryopteris require very little water to not only survive, but thrive and bloom.
  • Easy to grow and low care, Caryopteris thrive in full sun in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. They are intolerant of wet, poorly-drained soils. Mulching in winter is recommended.
  • Extremely versatile, Caryopteris are perfect choices for perennial borders, shrub borders, butterfly gardens, low hedges, small gardens or containers.
  • Their aromatic foliage is a lovely foil for perennials, grasses, dwarf conifers, and other select woodies. Underplant them with early crocuses, daffodils or snowflake bulbs for spring flowering.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Caryopteris - Bluebeards
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 4' (60cm - 120cm)
Spread 2' - 4' (60cm - 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Caryopteris - Bluebeards
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 4' (60cm - 120cm)
Spread 2' - 4' (60cm - 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
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