Autumn is the most brilliantly hued season of the year. Besides the turning leaves, plants such as asters, chrysanthemums and salvias are putting on a colorful show. It’s as if Mother Nature is making her grand finale with as much fanfare as possible.
One plant that is a staple in the fall garden is Sunshine Blue? Caryopteris. Its robust, bright yellow leaves are eye-catching spring through fall, but the late season blue flowers juxtaposed to the foliage turns this low maintenance perennial into a real knock out.
Caryopteris is deer resistant, pest free and doesn’t require much maintenance. Plant it in full sun and well-drained soil and it will be happy. Once established it is drought tolerant, which is good news for anyone who is trying to conserve water or looking for a plant to fill a spot where water is not easily accessed. Hardy to zone 5 (-10 to -20 F), this perennial will die back to the roots in winter in cold climates and then return in spring. Gardeners in warm regions can expect it to behave more like a deciduous shrub.
Caryopteris should be pruned in early spring because it blooms on new wood. Remove any dead growth and cut back living stems to about 12 to 20 inches. This will help produce vibrant foliage, lots of blooms and keep the plant in shape.