Easily grown in average, medium moisture, 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 winter hardy to USDA Zone 7. Thus, 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. Many gardeners in Zones 5 and 6 simply assume stems will be damaged in winter and automatically prune back hard all stems each year in early spring. Moreover, even in warm winter climates where the stems usually survive winter, gardeners still frequently 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.
Caryopteris x clandonensis, commonly called bluebeard, 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. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects. Foliage is aromatic when brushed with a hand.
Genus name comes from Greek karyon meaning nut and pteron meaning wing in reference to the winged fruits found on this shrub.
‘Lisaura’ commonly sold under the trade name of HINT OF GOLD is a variegated Clandonensis hybrid that features bright golden yellow leaves with mint-green margins. Some leaves have more gold coloring than others, but the bottom line is that the variegated foliage is superb and lasts well throughout the summer. This new hybrid typically grows to 2-3’ tall and as wide. Oval to elliptic leaves retain good variegated color during the growing season. Dark blue flowers in terminal and axillary clusters (cymes) bloom from late summer into fall (July-September in St. Louis). HINT OF GOLD was developed in England at Liss Forest Nursery. The cultivar name of 'Lisaura' refers to Liss nursery and to the plant's golden leaves (aura meaning gold). U.S. Plant Patent Applied For (PPAF).
No serious insect or disease problems. Crowns may rot in wet, poorly-drained soils.
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.