Caryopteris x clandonensis Kew Blue - Bluebeard
Kew Blue was raised as a seedling of Carypoteris c. Arthur Simmonds at Kew Gardens in 1947 and has been a popular choice for gardeners ever since. It is a more compact and rounded form of these well known and very popular deciduous shrubs that are valued for their aromatic foliage and late summer flowers which are said to resemble clouds of blue smoke or mist. Clandonensis hybrids typically produce about 60-90cm of growth per year so total shrub height depends upon the extent of winter dieback and/or the annual spring pruning. While the top may be damaged by harsh frost the roots are much hardier. It is good practice to cut back to almost ground level in early spring to encourage new growth that will flower in abundance. Given this treatment Kew Blue features a profuse shrub-covering bloom of fragrant deep bluish-purple flowers in terminal and axillary clusters (cymes) from late summer until the first frosts. Ovate to lance-shaped grey green leaves are silvery below. Foliage is aromatic when brushed with a hand. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies bees and other beneficial insects. This plant can be used in a mixed planting or as a stand alone specimen in the garden or can easily be grown in a pot or other container. Use a good quality John Innes compost as this plant will be there a long time and peaty types of compost eventually degrade become too packed and choke the roots. Ensure you feed regularly as a hungry plant is a poor performer. We recommend Osmoscote pro 8-9 month applied in the early spring. One application gives all the nutrients the plant requires for the whole year. John Innes is a soils based compost.