Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Blue Mist'
Common Name: bluebeard
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Powder blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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. ‘Blue Mist’ is a cultivar that is noted for producing powder blue flowers in late summer. It typically grows to 2-3’ tall and as wide. Oval to elliptic green leaves are aromatic when brushed with a hand. Powder blue flowers in terminal and axillary clusters (cymes) bloom from late summer into fall (July-September in St. Louis). 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.