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Vitex agnus castus

The beautiful  blue blooms of the Vitex tree are swaying in our summer breezes.

Vitex or Chaste Tree

Yesterday I visited the Dallas Arboretum and took a walk  under a lane of  fragrant Vitex aka Chaste Tree located at the back of the garden along the shores of White Rock Lake.   The snarly branches of  blue blooming Vitex  with the  yellow St John’s Wort planted at its feet almost made me swoon!Vitex Trees at the Dallas Arboreteum

Once established, Vitex is a drought tolerant tree and delight to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.   Shear it back after every bloom cycle to keep up the maximum flowering production  By doing this, you can get three bloom periods every summer. Texas A&M agrees!

It will also need a good shaping in winter months.  Some gardeners  cut it to the ground every year to keep it shrub size. At our garden  we have let it  grow into a 15 foot tree.

*Here are some different ways to use chaste tree in the landscape:

1. As a single specimen in the lawn (See ours at The Demonstration Garden)

2. In a row along a property line or a driveway

3. Limbed-up in a border with lower plants growing beneath it (As seen at The Dallas Arboretum)

4. As a small patio tree ( I have also seen it grown as a topiary)

Ann

*List adapted from Grumpy Gardener of Southern Living

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