Caryopteris clandonensis is a small deciduous shrub native to central Asia. It has an erect habit, generally roundish, and reaches a height of one meter; the leaves are small, oval or lanceolate, gray-green, slightly pubescent on the underside, they give off a delicate aroma if rubbed with your hands. From the second half of August until the autumn cold it produces numerous apical and axillary inflorescences consisting of small lavender-blue flowers. In places with very cold winter temperatures the plant tends to dry out the aerial part in late autumn. There are numerous hybrids, with white flowers or with golden or variegated white leaves. It is advisable to remove the withered flowers to favor a more prolonged flowering.
The Caryopteris clandonensis should be placed in a very sunny place, or in the partial shade; in general it does not fear the cold, even if it is always advisable to mulch the base of the plant in autumn. It is possible to perform the operation throughout the year without any risk to the shrub.
It tolerates the cold well, in the winter rest phase, even up to -10 ° C -15 ° C, then it is better to use a protection. He has no problem resisting the intense heat and salty winds.
Because the flowers bloom on new branches, the plant often tends to be cut down to the ground in autumn or early spring, to encourage the development of vigorous branches.
This kind of plants can easily withstand short periods of drought.
In the vegetative period, from March to November, it is useful and recommended to water sporadically, increasing the frequency of watering in dry periods; in spring, spread a slow release granular fertilizer for flowering plants at the base of the plant.
Naturally for plants cultivated in pots it will be necessary to increase the frequency of watering to allow the correct development of the plant as the needs they present are different, not being able to count on the natural humidity present in the open ground.
These small ornamental shrubs prefer loose and very well drained soils and are often used in rock gardens, where the rocks also provide shelter from summer heat and winter rains. They are able to adapt even to different terrains, of course the development will be minor.
The multiplication of Caryopteris clandonensis generally occurs by seed. This plant is sown in seedbed, in a protected and temperate place in the period that coincides with the end of winter, in February-March and the plants will germinate in 10-15 days. New plants should be grown in containers until April-May, when they can be planted, after they have acquired the necessary strength to resist transplantation. This way they can take root easily.
Caryopteris clandonensis: Pests and diseases
Being a rather rustic and resistant plant this variety is not easily attacked by pests and diseases, but, like many other types of shrubs, Caryopteris clandonensis fears root rot, particularly favored by very wet winters or by an excessive amount of water supplied through too abundant watering.