I bought a vitex

token28001(zone7b NC)July 3, 2009

A 3 gallon pot named "Shoal Creek". What type of growth rate should I expect? One down the street is at least 30' tall and has a trunk the size of a large dogwood. I used to think it was a huge butterfly bush because the blooms are so similar. Full sun, I plan to use it in the shrub border I built last week.

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Nell Jean

Give it some room. I limb mine up like trees.

Nell

Here is a link that might be useful: Shoal Creek at Goodness Grows

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 8:46AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

I love vitex. In the mid 80's I planted a cutting from the vitex of my 1st. MIL's house. yesterday I was at the house where I planted that cutting. The trunk is now as large around as a 2 gallon pot.
The one I planted here I cut to the ground each spring. I prefer it to be a shrub rather than a tree.

This morning. I can see I need to got clip the seeds off.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 9:52AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Uh....What have I done? I didn't think it would get THAT large. Sheesh. I need a bed all for itself I think.

I want to keep it more shrub like too. I know they'll grow into a tree given enough time and no pruning, but that one Nell linked to is HUGE.

How fast does this thing grow?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 10:17AM
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Nell Jean

I think they grow a foot or more a year. You can cut them to the ground every spring and they'll zoom right back up to the size they were the year before and grow some more. I guessing that this is the third year for Kathy's.

One of the hardest things for me is estimating ultimate size. That's why I have so many small trees -- they used to be shrubs.

Nell

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:28AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Yes, this is it's third spring.

When I was small we had about 8 vitex around the front porch. I remember sitting out there watching the hummers.

I have one that is from the original plant from Mom. It was inadvertently planted in the shade, before we knew where the shade would be. It grows much slower.

I have a blue potato bush out front that I planted according to the size the tag said it would get. It has surpassed that, so I have to keep hacking it back.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:53AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

The only bad thing about keeping them as shrubs is the way they look after that hard pruning. I planted my first one close to the house and had no choice but to prune it. It reminded me of "crape murder" when I got done. I eventually took a cutting from that one and planted its offspring where it could do its own thing. They do grow fast. That's part of their beauty.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 12:22PM
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pfmastin(8 N. Carolina)

Vitex is one of my favorites.

token28001...I agree that you might want to give it some elbow room. :) NCSU says 12-15 feet tall and 10-15 wide. It's a fabulous plant!

I remember the first time I saw them around Austin and I, too, thought they were giant butterfly bushes. They were, indeed, small trees and breathtaking.

Token, to give you an idea on growth rate, this one is about 6 feet tall and is in it's 3rd year.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 2:19PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

I've got it underplanted right now with butterfly bushes, but they're just seedlings this year. I'll give it a year to settle in before I start worrying. I've also got loropetalum in that bed and a few grasses. The other end will have roses, most likely red.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 2:47PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

It's going to zoom past those butterfly bushes, lol.

The Vitex I grew from a cutting was planted in 2004. In this pic from May of this year it's easily 10-12 feet tall.

It's in bloom behind the owl.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 4:00PM
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Nell Jean

I went out and measured mine. They are all at least ten years old, 4 cuttings that Nurse Gwen gave me off her newly purchased Vitex. The one pictured I moved about 2 years ago to the sunnier front yard. It is 9' tall and 8 ' wide. It already bloomed and is putting on secondary blossoms.

Blooming June 6, 2009

The 3 in the Upper Garden are in more shade. Two are coming into bloom. They were cut to about 9 inches from the ground 2 years ago. They have multiple trunks and are 8' tall. They have to be pruned from over the paths. They are starting to bloom now.

The one in most shade is 10' tall and growing straight up. Never cut back, it has two primary trunks and a little sucker piece that grew out of the ground. It shows promise of blooming soon.

Nell

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 6:11PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Wow. Do you take softwood or hardwood cuttings? I'd like to add some more of these to the gully, for the birds, of course. :)

Here's my baby. It's easily 3' tall. You can see the tiny butterfly bush I planted last week. I wintersowed it, collected from Black Knight.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:42PM
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Nell Jean

Greenwood to semi-ripe cuttings. Firmer than softwood, not fully hard. Summertime.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 7:35AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

The one in the back yard started as a stick I stuck in the ground to stake something else. They root very easily.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 10:25AM
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sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)

They also grow quickly from seed, which is how I got mine. I have three in a large container - just trying to figure out where to plant them.
I had one in my back yard in Louisiana. It was a small but bushy tree. I loved it.

Natal, Your garden is incredible!!! Your tomatoes look like trees!!! Wow! I love the arch and fence around it and it is so neat and tidy...just gorgeous! When you can grow tomatoes that big, no wonder your Vitex grew so big so fast! Amazing garden. Post more pictures!!!

This topic makes me want to go outside right now and plant mine! We're about to get some rain (yippee!!!), so now is a good time to transplant them into the ground.

Tom, I would move it now if I were you, before the trunk gets big and woody and the roots grow down deep. As much of it as you can see above ground, the roots will be twice that under the soil once it gets established.

I love their flowers, but I even love the aromatic fragrance of the leaves too. Kind of reminds me of "Vicks" or Mentholatum or something like that - only very pungent, and the seeds smell of black pepper. It is on the recommendation list of trees to plant for creating Natural Habitats for wildlife here in Oklahoma. Tough and beautiful - what a great combination!

Everyone, your Chaste tree photos are fantastic. Beautiful!

Good luck with yours Tomas!

~Annie

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 12:54PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Annie, they are like trees, lol, at least the Sun Golds are. That photo was taken shortly before the "draping" began. ThereÂs only so much tying you can do without a ladder, so have to let nature take its course. Now itÂs not so tidy, but at least a few tomatoes are still producing. About this time of year I get itchy to start pulling plants. Killed half a dozen stink bugs this morning while I was harvesting, so the end is drawing near. I was very fortunate to have such a good harvest the past couple months. Thanks for the compliments! The former garden served me well for more than 20 years, but it was time for something new and I wanted pretty along with practical.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 4:13PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

It's 8' from anything that I won't be able to move later. I think it'll give me the right amount of summer privacy in the backyard. Only the loropetalum and Cherry Laurels will be as large/r. I think I'll prune it in half each spring.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 9:10PM
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lynns(8a)

A friend and I just each bought a Vitex. The ones we've been seeing in TX south of Austin appear as small multi-trunked 10-12 foot trees which is the look I'm after. The ones we bought are in 2-3 gallon pots and already appear like they will be multi like that. Will these need to be cut back to maintain the look? or will it increase it? I only need about 3 or 4 trunks. Is there anything negative about them we should know like dropping something that needs cleanup or we wouldn't want a car under in the driveway?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 6:30AM
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