Do you want a summer-flowering shrub that grows well in hot sun? Would you like a plant that also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds? Then look for Vitex agnus-castus, aka Chaste tree. This plant is native to the Mediterranean regions and loves good drainage and at least six hours of sunlight.
The Chaste Tree is a large shrub, so site it appropriately. You can prune these plants fairly heavily in the spring, however, because they flower on the new growth. Snipping off spent flowers promptly will improve the look of the plant and encourage new flowers to form.
Vitex works well in a mixed shrub border. Combine with other large, flowering plants such as Forsythia, Spirea, Weigela, Pee Gee Hydrangea, Nine-bark (Physocarpus) and Rose-of-Sharon and you’ll have a beautiful privacy screen and flowers from April to October!
Vitex also looks good as a background plant for ornamental grasses, sedum and daylilies…a perfect combination for that hot area along a road or driveway.
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