Interesting foliage and late summer flowers are attractive in shrub borders.
Vitex negundo, commonly called chaste tree, is a deciduous shrub or small, multi-trunked tree which typically grows to 3 m (10') tall in warm winter climates. In cold winter areas (especially USDA Zones 5-6), it is more often grown as a 0,90 - 1,50 m (3-5') tall woody perennial.
Features compound palmate, grayish-green leaves with 3-5 lance-shaped leaflets (each leaflet to 10 cm (4") long) and tiny, fragrant, bluish-lavender lowers appearing in loose panicles in mid to late summer.
This species is generally less ornamental than Vitex agnus-castus but may be slightly hardier.
Genus name comes from the Latin name for V. agnus-castus or chaste tree.
Best grown in loose, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Plant in a sheltered location in USDA Zones 5-6 wherein this shrub is not reliably winter hardy and often suffers winter die back or dies to the ground in severe winters.
May be regularly pruned to the ground in early spring and grown in the manner of an herbaceous perennial.
Information source: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org
Genus - Vitex
Species - Negundo
Common name - Chaste Tree
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 9
Height - 3 - 10' / 1 - 3 m
Spread - 3 - 8' / 1 - 2.40 m
Plant type - Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
Bloom season - Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Purple
1. Soak in warm water for 24 hours.
2. Cold/moist stratify for 90 days in moist vermiculite or sterile soil at +2-+4C (35-40F).
3. Sow vitex seeds indoors in a seed tray prepared with a layer of growing medium. Ideally, the medium should contain a combination of peat, perlite, and vermiculite. The seeds do not need direct sunlight to sprout, but they do require warmth. Be sure to keep the seeds away from drafts for 10 to 14 days.
4. Cover the seed tray with a layer of plastic wrap. The idea here is to maintain a moist environment, but be careful. The minute you notice sprouting beginning to occur, remove the plastic immediately. Otherwise, your tender seedlings may succumb to a form of fungal infection known as damp off.
Place the newly sprouted seedlings in an area free of drafts where they will receive several hours of sunlight each day. If this is not possible, then you'll need to provide artificial light with plant lights, which can be found in garden supply centers.
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