Caryopteris White Surprise

A small family of deciduous shrubs or choice perennials bearing blue or white flower clusters in late summer. A handy late flowering plant that can be used extend the season in the border.

Family: Lamiaceae
Botanical Name: Caryopteris (ka-ree-op-te-ris)
Common Names: Blue spiraea, blue mist bush, bluebeard

Foliage: Deciduous, grey-green, aromatic leaves. Variegated forms are available.

Flowers: Clusters of small dark-blue or white flowers.

Flowering Period: Summer to early autumn.

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun. Plant in a west or south facing aspect, in a sheltered position.

Habit: Bushy, upright.

Type: Shrub.

Origin: Eastern Asia.

Hardiness: Hardy throughout most of the UK.

Planting and Growing Caryopteris

Plant in spring. Grow in moderately fertile, light, well-drained soil in full sun.

Shrubs are best positioned near a warm, sunny wall.

Taking Care of Caryopteris

Protect from cold winds. Protect the crown of perennials over winter with a deep mulch.

Pruning Caryopteris

Some growth may be killed back by frost. Prune back hard in early spring to remove damaged wood and previous seasons growth.

Pests and Diseases

Prone to capsid bugs and mealybugs.

Propagating Caryopteris

Propagation of shrubs is best made from semi-ripe cuttings in summer. Although softwood cuttings can be taken from spring to midsummer or hardwood cuttings from late autumn.

Divide established perennials from late March to early April.

Popular Varieties of Caryopteris

Caryopteris clandonensis is a compact, rounded shrub with arching branches. Height and spread to 2ft (60cm). Cultivars include:

  • 'Arthur Simmonds' bears rounded clusters of bright blue flowers in September.
  • 'Dark Knight' has rich purple-blue flowers. For sale at Crocus.
  • 'Heavenly Blue' is a well known and popular cultivar with intense dark blue flowers. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Kew Blue' is similar but with deep-blue flowers. For sale at Van Meuwen.
  • 'Petit Blue' is a compact hardy strain with intense, blue flowers. For sale at Van Meuwen.
  • 'Pink Perfection'® is a beautiful new pink form. For sale at Crocus.
  • 'Thetis'® is a small to medium shrub with clusters of purple-blue flowers. For sale at Suttons.
  • 'White Surprise' a variegated sport of 'Heavenly Blue'. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.

Caryopteris Sapphire Dream (New for 2022) bears vibrant, golden-yellow foliage. Height to 3ft (1m), spread to 5ft (1.5m). For sale at Suttons.

Caryopteris incana (mastacanthus, moustache plant) is a medium to small deciduous shrub with weeping branches, bearing violet-blue flowers. Height and spread to 5ft (1.5m). Cultivar 'Blue Cascade' is an attractive weeping form.