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‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris

Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Longwood Blue’

‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris

Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Longwood Blue’

How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

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The ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris forms a mound of silvery-green foliage rising about 4 feet into the air by fall. From mid-summer on it is smothered in fabulous violet-blue blooms, and the aromatic foliage fills the air around it with mint and eucalyptus. The perfect foreground plant, just one plant brings your beds to life, and a continuous edging is to die for. Grow it on sunny slopes, among boulders, edging terraces and paths, or anywhere you want easy summer beauty. It attracts butterflies and pollinating insects too.

  • Rich deep-blue flowers from mid-summer through fall
  • Silvery green foliage is striking earlier in the season
  • Great mounding plant for the front of your beds
  • Drought tolerant and thrives in heat
  • A magnet for butterflies

The ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris grows best in full sun in ordinary to dry soils, but don’t plant it in wet areas. It has no pests or diseases, and it’s left alone by deer and rabbits. An annual spring cut-back is all it takes to enjoy this wonderful shrub, so it truly is low-maintenance, yet it punches way above its weight.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-8
Mature Width 3-4
Mature Height 3-4
Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun
Drought Tolerance Good Drought Tolerance
Zones 5-8

When creating your dream garden, always make sure you use plenty of blue. I know, apart from hydrangeas you probably can’t think of many blue shrubs. It’s true that most of our garden shrubs don’t come with blue flowers, so to get that vital color into the garden we have to turn to plants that are lower-growing, and that in many areas act more like perennials. That doesn’t mean it has to be complicated – no, if you grow the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris, you can spread blue around your garden with ease. Why blue, and why is it so important? The main reason is the ability of blue to work with all over colors, and so tie together the separate elements in your beds into a seamless whole. Blue anchors your planting, and along with silver is the perfect way to show off the best in your plants, and hide their imperfections. As well, blue is a color that doesn’t fade in sunlight – think of the blue ocean on a summer’s day. White is the other ‘anchor’ color, but it looks best in shade and in the evenings. So if you think your garden lacks something, plant the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris, and everything will become bright and new again. No kidding.

Growing the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris

Size and Appearance

The ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris is a small deciduous shrub that grows in a season to 3 or 4 feet tall and equally wide, making a mound of many stems, each one topped by long-lasting flowers. The stems are slender, and they grow new each year from a low woody base. Each stem is covered with pairs of slender oval leaves, up to 2 inches long and 1 inch wide, but over smaller. The upper surface of the leaf is a lovely sage-green with bluish overtones, and the underside is covered in short, dense, silvery hairs. When the breeze ruffles the plant it looks a unique silvery-green-blue color that is very attractive. If you crush a leaf, or even brush it when working around it, it has a warm aroma somewhere between eucalyptus and mint. If you leave it untrimmed in warmer zones it will form a large bush, but it is best to trim back each spring for the most attractive form.

In early spring the mound of silver-green is a great companion for spring flowers, and then by about July – or earlier in zone 8 – the first flowers will appear. All along the upper part of the stems, for as much as half their length, flower buds form, and side-branches packed with more blooms are produced. Soon there will be a profusion of tiny blooms, opening constantly right into fall – months of beautiful blooms. The flowers are a rich, dark violet-blue that is instantly appealing and delightful to see, no matter what color your other plants are. If you look closely at the individual flowers you will see a small, hairy lower ‘lip’ on them, which gives this plant the alternative name of Bluebeard. These blooms also attract many butterflies and pollinating insects, to everyone’s delight, bringing you a busy, buzzing summer garden.

Using the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris in Your Garden

When you put in new shrubs, they have leaves to the ground. But it doesn’t take long before they grow up, and those bare stems can look dull and lifeless. That’s why low foreground planting is so important, and the broad, spreading mounds of silver-green and blue that the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris bring are the ideal solution. Use it to edge larger beds, especially against paved areas and driveways, or use it to soften rocky slopes and retaining walls. It’s the perfect antidote to ‘boring’ in your beds, adding life and vibrant color to your summer garden – exactly when you are out enjoying it. In zones 7 and 8 it can also be used in planters and pots left out all winter.

Hardiness

‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris is hardy from zone 5 into zone 8. In zones 5 and 6 the stems will die right back almost to the ground, but the roots are hardy and, bingo!, in spring lots of new stems sprout up, blooming strongly right on cue. In zones 7 and 8 the stems won’t die, but we still recommend hard pruning in spring for the best look.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

You can’t find a spot in your garden that is too sunny for the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris. It revels in open, hot places, and it will grow in most soils, even poor urban ones and sandy soils, but not in wet areas. Avoid wet soil, especially in colder zones, where it will impact on winter survival.

Maintenance and Pruning

This bush is normally untouched by pests or diseases, and the aromatic leaves repels both rabbits and deer. In early spring remove all the branches from the previous year, cutting back to woody stems at ground level. In zones 7 and 8 you can keep a taller plant by leaving about 12 inches of older stems. Once flowering finishes in fall you can trim back lightly for neatness through winter. Water new plants weekly for a while, until they become established. After that this plant is very drought resistant.

History and Origin of the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris

When the first plants of Caryopteris arrived from Asia, they were tricky to grow, especially in the uncertain climate of the British Isles. They remained playthings for enthusiasts, until around 1930, when Arthur Simmons made a discovery. He was an important gardener of the time, with a garden in West Clandon, Surrey. He had collected some seed from a plant of Caryopteris mongolica, from China and Mongolia, and sown it for new plants. But one plant was different – much more vigorous and sturdy, with beautiful large flowers. After a while experts realized it was a hybrid. The other parent must have been Caryopteris incana, from Japan, that Arthur also had growing in his garden. The hybrid was named after his garden, as Caryopteris x clandonensis. Since then other gardeners have grown seedlings from that original plant, and the variety called ‘Longwood Blue’ was developed at some point by the staff at the famous Longwood Gardens. That famous 1,000 acre display and teaching garden in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania was begun by Pierre Samuel du Pont, part of the wealthy industrialist du Pont family.

Buying the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris at The Tree Center

This variety was selected for its long blooming season, vigorous taller growth, and extra silvery foliage. When you grow the ‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris you are growing the best. Experts know this, so everyone wants to own this variety. It sells out fast, so order now or it will all be gone for another season.

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‘Longwood Blue’ Caryopteris

Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Longwood Blue’