Caryopteris observation

aachenelf z5 MplsApril 11, 2012

I'm curious how these behave for others. My 'Blue Butterflies' dies back to the ground completely each winter. Of course it sprouts again in the spring and grows quickly bigger and better than the previous season.

Last year I added 'Sunshine Blue' to my garden and noticed it's behaving more like a regular shrub. It's sprouting from last years stems and branches just like a shrub would do. Granted we had an incredibly mild winter, but is this normal in most cold climates? Or is there some huge difference in the parentage of these two? I'm not familiar with the Caryopertis species or hybrids.


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keywee(7a KY)

Hmmm ~ good questions, so here are MY observations to add to yours: I "neglected" to cut mine back in the fall and so not only is it coming back from the root, but it is also sprouting new growth along the old stems. To top it ALL off, the weeping shape of the shrub has allowed the sprouting new growth to root AGAIN into the surrounding soil, so I am beginning to wonder how many new starts I will have.
Even though we are two zones apart, our winter was also mild to the point of non-existence, so I wish I had cut the shrub back in the fall as usual. Working too many hours had a lot of plants getting away from me. Whew. It remains to be seen what the outcome of this will be but I wanted to add my observations to yours:)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 2:09PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yep.. you need to be googling the second latin name..

i have one that dies to the ground..

and one that does not ...


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 3:33PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I'm assuming you mean 'divaricata" which would be the 'Blue Butterflies'? I'm not sure what 'Sunshine Blue' is. It certainly doesn't look anything like the former.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 4:00PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Z8b - C. divaricata (Snow Fairy is the one I'm growing) is an herbaceous perennial, dies to the ground each late Fall

But, most plants in the genus (clandonensis, incana etc) are woody shrubs or subshrubs and leave an existing framework over winter.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:22PM
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I never trim them down until the spring - this year I have them sprouting from the ground and along the stem - but just low along the stem. I'll cut last year's stems down pretty low. I can't recall what variety they are - other than they are all blue. We had a very mild winter as well - zone 7b in New Mexico.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:53PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

C. divaricata ...... incana

==>>> consistent with what morz said.. these are the two types i referred to ...

i did actually walk out there and look for you yesterday .. but somehow got distracted.. and forgot.. before i could reply


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:54AM
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Does anyone have any experience with the "Dark Knight" variety? I'm wondering if it's hardy in zone 5. Also, do you know of a good reputable source for this plant? Thanks much for any advice/suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:14PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

None of mine die to the ground. They all come back along the stems. I cut them back hard, but not to the ground.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:29PM
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