Monday, September 24, 2012

My Favorite Subshrub - Caryopteris incana 'Jason'

How's your garden looking these days? Most perennials have finished blooming for the year, and face it - your garden is looking a little drab. Have I got the plant for you!

Caryopteris incana 'Jason' also called Caryopteris Sunshine Blue ® Blue Mist Shrub is formally classified as a subshrub, although you will find it listed in different catalogs sometimes as a perennial, and other times as a shrub. There usually isn't a category for subshrubs, but for plant geeks like me, it's important to know this group. Subshrubs have a woody lower stem, but die back each year like a perennial. Other examples include Perovskia atripicifolia (Russian sage) Lavendula (lavender), and Thymus (thyme). Subshrubs can, and should be cut back in the late fall after blooming for rich spring growth.

I have two species of Caryopteris, the one above, and a variegated variety, and I love them both for their late season interest. Bees and butterflies go crazy over them, and it's nice to have this pollinator activity in the garden this late in the year. They grow to between 3-4 feet with an open, rounded form.

My recommendation? Try one, and extend your garden's blooming time by a month!

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