Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue’ – The Bluebeard ‘Kew Blue’
Overview: Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue’ also known as Bluebeard ‘Kew Blue,’ is a hardy perennial with fragrant foliage. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family of plants and is native to East Asia. This herbaceous perennial features beautiful blue-violet flowers that bloom from late summer to mid-autumn, attracting bees and butterflies. ‘Kew Blue’ adds color and life to the garden during this season.
Description and Characteristics: Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue’ is a compact, deciduous shrub with a rounded habit. It displays an abundance of dark blue flowers in late summer and early fall, contrasting nicely with the small, gray-green leaves. The foliage emits a pleasant aroma. This Bluebeard variety typically reaches a height of 24-36 inches (60-90 cm) and spreads 3-4 feet (90-120 cm) wide, making it an excellent choice for borders and sunny gardens.
Cultivation of Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue’:
To successfully grow Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue,’ follow these cultivation tips:
Sun and Soil Requirements: This plant thrives in full sun and prefers moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogging. Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue’ is relatively drought-tolerant once established but cannot tolerate wet, poorly-drained soils.
Propagation: The easiest and fastest method to propagate ‘Kew Blue’ is through summer cuttings. Take 6-inch (15 cm) cuttings from partially hardened new growth stems. Remove the lower pairs of leaves, keeping only the topmost 1 or 2 levels. Plant the cuttings in a special cutting soil mix and place them in a well-lit area, avoiding direct sunlight. Using powdered rooting agents can increase the success rate if desired.
Garden Uses: Bluebeard ‘Kew Blue’ is an excellent addition to perennial borders, shrub borders, and butterfly gardens. It attracts beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies while being resistant to deer and rabbits.
Maintenance and Pruning: This plant requires minimal maintenance. In early spring, prune it down to where new growth is sprouting. This encourages a compact form and enhances blooming in summer. During fall and winter, protect the plant from freezing temperatures by covering it with thick dried leaf mulch.
Pests, Diseases, and Care: Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue’ is generally disease-free. However, it’s important to watch out for the Capsid bug. Regular monitoring is necessary to prevent infestations. When growing in pots, ensure the soil surface is dry before watering.
In terms of care throughout the seasons:
- Spring and Summer: Apply a light mulch to suppress weed growth and retain moisture in the soil. For potted specimens, consider adding flower plant fertilizer in spring to provide additional nutrients.
- Fall and Winter: Prune the plant back in late winter to encourage compact growth and enhance blooming. Protect it from freezing temperatures by covering it with thick dried leaf mulch.
Embrace the Beauty of Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue’: With its captivating blue-violet flowers, fragrant foliage, and ability to attract beneficial pollinators, Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Kew Blue’ is a valuable addition to any sunny garden.
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