coleus is one of the largest in the market
reaching 32-inches tall and producing 8-inch
colorful burgundy leaves.
my gosh, if you arenít growing the Shoal Creek Vitex
you are missing the opportunity to add rare iridescent
blue color to the landscape like few other plants can
do. Iíve written about vitex for years but the award
winning Shoal Creek has to be the best in the
was a Louisiana Super Plant, and listed as Texas
Superstar but has a wide range of adaptability from
zones 5-9. In warm climates it is grown as a large
deciduous shrub or small open vase tree while in colder
areas it freezes to the ground and returns in the spring
as a shrub, almost reminiscent of a buddleia or
is known botanically as Vitex agnus-castus, and it is a
marvel with its small structure, large,
marijuana-looking leaves and fragrant, blue blooms that
are most rare among trees.
ago, the seeds that followed the blossoms were used to
keep monksí libidos in check. It is said that in
ancient Greece during the feast of the goddess Ceres,
the women of Athens made their beds with the vitex
leaves to cool lust and to keep themselves chaste for a
time. Today, on the other hand, an extract from these
plants is used to help women who want to become
or lilac chaste tree, is native to Sicily and is a
member of the verbena family. It was recognized by the
Greeks for its medicinal properties and has been in
cultivation in British gardens since 1570.
a shrub, it is at home in the perennial or cottage
garden. We have several in the Coastal Georgia Botanical
Garden. My favorite is in a complementary color scheme
where it is grown in combination with a golden torch
lily or Kniphofia.
a small tree, use it as an accent or specimen. Try
combining in a cluster with pink or red forms of crape
myrtles. Since it can attract hummingbirds and
butterflies it brings added benefits as part of any
wildlife habitat. In this garden try combining with gold
and orange shades of lantana. A Shoal Creek Vitex along
with a sweep of gloriosa daisies and purple coneflowers
will bring out the cameras.
a well-drained, fertile bed in full sun. Dig the
planting hole two to three times as wide as the rootball,
but no deeper. This wide hole allows for easy root
expansion and acclimation in the landscape. The top of
the rootball should be even with the soil profile.
Shoal Creek vitex is drought tolerant, easy to grow, and
has virtually no pests or diseases, making it an
environmentally friendly plant. Feed established trees
in late winter with an application of a slow-release,
12-6-6 fertilizer per 100 square feet of planting area.
first bloom cycle occurs in May and June with a second
flush in August. I like to remove old blossoms and give
another light application in early July for a more
robust bloom but youíll love it regardless.
Maintaining moisture during prolonged dry periods will
also help the late summer flush of flowers.
Creek is a big improvement with larger and more vivid
blue flowers. Now is a good time to shop your local
garden center pick up a few. You will be glad you did.