Caryopteris incana

klew(Z7b/8, NE PDX, OR)August 5, 2012

Wondering about the flop-factor.

I want an upright, late-blooming dark blue perennial. Found color I like, but before I buy eight of 'em I'd like to know what experience others have had with Caryopteris incana generally.

Thanks, as always.

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gardengal48

Not known to flop at all. Truly much more of a shrub than any sort of herbaceous perennial in our climate, it develops a sturdy woody framework that holds itself up well. Although it can and often does get pruned back hard here in late winter or early spring (similar to buddleia), it more frequently dies to the ground in colder climates, so far less likely to develop that self-supporting woody structure.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:51PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Dryland shrub wanting full sun and good drainage, as do lavender, rosemary, rock rose etc. Rounded, spreading gray bush, wider than high - not a vertical herbaceous perennial for typical mixed border conditions. For alternative suggestions describe site conditions, and growth habit etc. desired, including whether spike-shaped (delphinium) or round (aster) flowers are wanted.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:58PM
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gardengal48

I'm not sure exactly how "dryland" shrub translates from a plant native to large areas of the far east. Only resemblance to any of the aforementoned Mediterranean type plants is that it shares a love of sun and good drainage. As do countless other shrubby choices. Not at all sure why one would be discouraged from using in a mixed perennial border -- as stated, in colder climates this is planted and treated as a dieback perennial

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:25PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Characteristic of limestone soils in nature, like lavender often dies out in gardens if conditions too "good". Shares with aforementioned types the gray foliage of plants wanting sun and good drainage. Rated quite cold hardy, it seems dying down in cold climates might be related to placement in unsuitable soils or problems with climate (or exposure) other than how cold it got.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:14AM
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