Caryopteris sp. (Bluebeard)
Caryopteris closeup

Zone: 5 to 9

Soil: Sand to loam

Light: Full sun to part sun

Bloom colour: Blue

Bloom period: Late summer into fall

Height: 3 - 4 feet

Moisture: Dry to medium

Attracts: Bees and butterflies

Notes: Caryopteris is an excellent nectar plant and since it flowers when most other plants are past their prime, bees will flock to it. The plants you find in garden centres are hybrids of two species from South East Asia. Being an exotic species, this plant should only be placed in managed gardens. It is usually the case with this shrub that you are buying an infertile hybrid. I would double check with your plant provider. An infertile hybrid is environmentally benign because it cannot reproduce.

In Toronto (zone 5), the plant dies back completely and new growth should appear at the base by late spring. In warmer climates growth may start again on older wood. You must have good drainage for this plant. In clay soil, it is necessary to amend the soil with sand or compost if you want it to do well. Otherwise, it is a fairly tough plant and easy to grow. The plant is a small shrub and over a few years will become a well-rounded bush that is laden with bees when it flowers in the fall. If you prefer native alternatives then try Clethra, Boltonia or Asters.


Caryopteris bush
Caryopteris with wool carder
Caryopteris with carpenter bee