- Chaste Tree
- Chaste Tree Info: Tips On Chaste Tree Cultivation And Care
- Chaste Tree Info
- Chaste Tree Cultivation
- Chaste tree
- Size and Form
- Tree & Plant Care
- Disease, pests, and problems
- Native geographic location and habitat
- Attracts birds, butterflies, and pollinators
- Bark color and texture
- Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
- Flower arrangement, shape, and size
- Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
- Cultivars and their differences
- Vitex agnus-castus L.
- Botanical characteristics
- Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’ (Chaste Tree)
- Vitex agnus-castus
- A Plethora of Purposes
- Happy to Reproduce (And Where to Buy)
- In the Dark of Night
- A Hard Prune, And That’s About It
- Maybe, Maybe Not
- Big or Small, It’s a Keeper
If you are searching for an easy-care, stylish ornamental tree, take a good look at this fabulous offering. Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is one of only a handful of winter-hardy trees that blooms with true-blue flower spikes all summer long. You’ll love the way it attracts butterflies, or “Flying Flowers” to your yard.
You will be hard-pressed to find a more spectacularly beautiful plant with more outstanding qualities. It’s a fast-growing, multi-trunked tree, and rest assured. You don’t need any special skills or knowledge to grow this tree in your yard.
It’s easy to grow in well-drained soil. It’s drought-tolerant and disease resistant. You’ll be very pleased at the return you get on your limited investment (both of time and money!) with this tree.
Also known as Monk Pepper, Chaste Tree has handsome and aromatic green foliage with a decidedly silvery cast. As summer heats up, your Chaste Tree will astound you with its impressive blue spikes that bloom right up until autumn.
Though always appreciated for the beautiful blue-purple flowers, the plant was commonly grown as a medicinal plant to instill purity in women. This tree was named “chaste” in medieval Europe, because it was thought that a potion made from the flowers would cure an overactive libido.
We know that just the opposite is true. You will fall madly in love with this plant in your yard.
Don’t let summer go by without adding one from Nature Hills to your landscape!
How to Use Chaste Tree in the Landscape
The Chaste tree can be used in a variety of different ways. Its upright growth can be pruned to approximate either a large shrub or small tree to fit your needs.
Wonderful whether in bloom or not, it performs beautifully as a specimen or small patio tree. The spreading canopy is light and airy, which gives an enormously satisfying dappled shade.
Plant a single tree as a specimen in full sun. Or, use it as a naturalized, multi-trunk focal point in a garden bed.
Let the lower branches fill in and try it as an outrageously beautiful hedge or light screening plant. This is especially effective along a driveway or property line.
It also does well in a container but will require regular watering to keep it healthy. In the ground, the Chaste is a low water plant once established.
The eye-catching Chaste contrasts well in a perennial bed or with darker colored foliage plants like Smokebush or Ninebark shrubs.
Ornamental Tree with a Lot of History and Special Meaning
The Chaste Tree traces its history back more than 2500 years. Different medicinal attributes associated with Chaste Vitex and the compounds it produces are continuing to be studied and utilized in holistic science today. Yes, compounds from this beautiful plant are found in Vitex supplements in every health store across the country.
Especially celebrated for help with women’s issues, this giving tree may be one of the most perfect trees to celebrate children and loved ones. Many women will know just how meaningful Vitex was to support them on their fertility journey. Hint, hint – this tree would make a wonderful gift!
#ProPlantTips for Care
Native to western Asia and southwestern Europe, the aromatic gray green foliage contrasts well the light to dark blue-purple terminal flowers spikes.
The tiny fragrant flowers are clustered along each terminal flower spike and last for a very long time from spring throughout the summer. In some climates, it will rebloom in the fall.
Clip spent flower heads to keep a clean look to the plant. This will also encourage a rebloom to occur. This mindful task can be quite relaxing, and it’s never a chore.
Lightly prune limbs by cutting back to the point that they originate from on the trunk. Cut back as much as 1/3rd of the entire canopy height in a season to control height.
However you use this lovely tree in your landscape, we know you’ll appreciate its great looks. Order yours today!
Vitex, botanical name Vitex agnus-castus, also known as the Chaste Tree, offers a gorgeous display of handsome gray-green foliage and terminal clusters of fragrant lilac blooms. Native from the Mediterranean region to central Asia, this fast growing small to medium sized tree will enhance any landscape with beauty and is sure to attract hummingbirds and swarms of butterflies. This is an excellent choice for a beautiful garden or for use as a patio tree.
Easy to care for and waterwise, Vitex needs full sun and low to moderate water use once established. This beautiful deciduous is typically grown as a multi-trunk tree, with turning, twisting trunks giving it a unique statuesque appearance under the bright flowering canopy.
Vitex trees thrive in the heat and can be seen used in a wide range of landscapes. Plant a Chaste tree in an urban garden and bring natural beauty to any urban setting. It’s also great for use as a hedge, in a wildlife garden or kept in a container. Visit your local Moon Valley Nurseries location and check out our fine imported pottery for sale! This is a versatile tree that can be used in coastal landscapes to desert landscapes. Homeowners looking to add a beautiful tree to their garden will love the fragrant, showy flowers.
Fun fact: Vitex agnus-castus has been used since ancient times as a female remedy.
Vitex trees can be trained for use in shrub border, complementing a variety of plants such as Rose, Smoke Tree and Maiden Grass. Feel free to train high if you want a good small shade tree in your landscape too. Plant in full sun locations, it can take the drought and heat! At our nurseries, you can take advantage of a free design consultation to guide you in your landscaping needs.
Plant with Moon Valley Nurseries line of fertilizers for spectacular results! Let us do the work. We offer free professional planting on all box sized trees as well as the best warranty in the industry! You buy it, we can deliver and plant it!
Vitex is best grown in direct sun and moderately moist, well-draining soil. Vitex agnus-castus is a favorite as an ornamental shrub for its wonderfully aromatic, long blooming flowers. The pungent and distinctly flavored fruit are also sought out and most often used in tea making, culinary dishes, encapsulation, and tincture making.
A member of the Lamiaceae family, vitex is characterized by its many fragrant leaflets and tiny violet to lilac colored flowers. This large plant can grow up to twenty feet tall in a warmer climate but averages anywhere from three to sixteen feet elsewhere. Vitex is not usually considered a cold hardy plant. It will die back in the winter and successfully reemerge in the spring. The fruit can be harvested throughout the entire growing season. It is recommended to collect when they are not yet fully ripened and are still on the plant.
When growing vitex from seed, it is best to start indoors in the early spring about four weeks before the last frost date. Press seeds into prepared potting soil in planters or flats and keep them in a warm and sheltered area of the house with direct sunlight to promote germination. Keep consistently moist. Young seedlings should sprout within two weeks and can be safely transplanted outside once they are a few inches tall.
This Herb Appears In
• Organic Vitex (Chaste Tree) Berries
• Organic Vitex (Chaste Tree) Berry Powder
• Organic Vitex (Chaste Tree) Extract
• Vitex Berry Capsules
• Organic Moon Ease Tea
• Organic Wise Woman Tea
• Organic Vitex Essential Oil
Chaste Tree Info: Tips On Chaste Tree Cultivation And Care
Vitex (chaste tree, Vitex agnus-castus) blooms from late spring until early fall with long, upright spikes of pink, lilac and white flowers. Any shrub or tree that blooms all summer is well worth planting, but when it also has pleasantly fragrant flowers and foliage, it becomes a must-have plant. Chaste tree garden care is easy, but there are a few care essentials you need to know to get the most from this outstanding plant.
Chaste Tree Info
The chaste tree is a native of China, but it has a long history in the U.S. It was first cultivated in 1670, and since that time it has become naturalized throughout the Southern part of the country. Many southerners use it as a replacement for lilacs, which don’t tolerate hot summers.
Chaste trees, which are considered shrubs or small trees, grow 15 to 20 feet tall with a spread of 10 to 15 feet. It attracts butterflies and bees, and it makes an excellent honey plant. Wildlife shuns the seeds, and it’s just as well because you’ll have to remove the flower spikes before they go to seed to keep the plant flowering.
Chaste Tree Cultivation
Chaste trees need full sun and very well-drained soil. It’s best not to plant them in soil that is rich in organic matter because organically rich soils hold too much moisture close to the roots. Chaste trees do very well in xeric gardens where water is scarce.
Once established, you’ll probably never have to water a chaste tree. Inorganic mulch, such as pebbles or stones, allows the soil to dry between rains. Avoid using organic mulches such as bark, shredded wood or straw. Fertilize the plant every year or two with general-purpose fertilizer.
Chaste trees freeze and die back to ground level during severe weather. This isn’t a cause for concern because they regrow quickly from the roots. Nurseries sometimes prune the plant into a small tree by removing some of the main stems and all of the lower branches; but when it regrows, it will be a multi-stemmed shrub.
You’ll need to prune annually to control the shape and size and encourage branching. In addition, you should remove the flower spikes when the blossoms fade. Allowing the seeds that follow the flowers to mature reduces the number of flower spikes late in the season.
Size and Form
Often considered a sub-shrub in northern climates.
May reach 8 to 10 feet high and wide.
Tree & Plant Care
Plants require well-drained soil in full sun.
Marginally hardy. In cold winters tops will die back to the ground.
Plants flower on new wood developed in the spring. Cut plant to the ground in early spring for best flowering.
Disease, pests, and problems
Leaf spots and root rots occur in too wet soils.
Native geographic location and habitat
Southern Europe and western Asia
Attracts birds, butterflies, and pollinators
Birds and butterflies are attracted to flowers
Bark color and texture
Twiggy grey stems can get woody and blocky in appearance
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite; 2 to 4 inches long,elliptical, palmately compound leaves with 5 to 9 lealfets radiating from a central stalk; gray-green in color
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Purple to lavender, 3 to 6 inch long flower spikes at tips of branches
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
A small persistent drupe; not showy
Cultivars and their differences
Blue Diddley® Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus ‘SMVACCBD’): A dwarf chaste tree reaching 3 to 6 feet high; laveder-blue spikes; good for containers
Blue Puffball™ Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus ‘PIIVAC-II’): A First Editions® dwarf, 3 feet high and wide, compact shrub with medium green foliage; deep blue fragrant flower spikes.
Delta Blues™ Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus ‘PIIVAC-I’): An 8 to 10 feet high and wide, upright-spreading to rounded habit; dark, purplish-blue flowers and small shiny, reddish fruit.
Vitex agnus-castus L.
Chaste tree has enjoyed a high cult esteem since olden times. When the women of Athens took part in the 8-day Thesmophoria – a fertility festival honouring the goddess Demeter – they decorated themselves with the plant’s flowers and placed its leaves on their beds to preserve their chastity. In medieval cloisters, the fruit from the bush were used as a substitute for pepper as the German name ‘Monchspfeffer’ (Monk’s Pepper) implies in order to suppress carnal desire (= anaphrodisiac), The monks scattered Agnus castus chaff in their sleeping quarters. The custom of strewing Agnus castus flowers on the paths leading to the cloisters for novices is still carried out to this day in Italy.
As a medication, chaste tree was once used in cases of injuries, abdominal complaints, dropsy, hypochondria, and hepatic dropsy, and as an emmenagogue, carminative, and galactagogue. The plant’s name resulted from a series of misinterpretations. Theophrastus and Dioscorides called the bush ágonos, the ’a‘ negating ‘gonos’ which means progeny, therefore ’infertile‘. In the course of time, this word became agnós, meaning ’holy, pure, chaste‘. Pliny used the Latin word for chastity, ’castitas‘, to describe the plant. ‘Agnós‘ was in turn misinterpreted as the Latin agnus, meaning ‘lamb‘, which resulted in the plant becoming known as ’chaste lamb‘. The Latin term vitex comes from vitilium, meaning ’basketwork‘. The tough, hard branches are still used for wicker fences.
Chaste tree is a 3 to 5 metre high bush or tree with four-edged, light brown, branches which in the initial stages are covered with a fine down. Its 5 to 7 lobed, palmate leaves are crosswise-opposite. It forms small violet, blue, pink, or white flowers in dense, apical flower heads. The small dark brown fruits are four seeded, pitted berries. The whole plant has a peppery aroma and flavour. It is interesting to note that the bush comes into flower and produces fruit just after midsummer when there is a shortage of nutrition; its late flowering and pleasant smell make it popular as a decorative plant.
Agnus castus flowers from August to September.
The bush is found throughout the Mediterranean area and in Asia, as far as north west India. It thrives on the banks of rivers and in coastal areas, forming dense thickets.
The production of the homoeopathic mother tincture is done in accordance with the current Homöopathisches Arzneibuch (HAB) (New Official Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia). The ripe, dried fruits of Vitex agnus castus L.are used. The homoeopathic dilution is prepared by shaking manually.
Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’ (Chaste Tree)
Adding fresh, long-lasting color in the summer garden, Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’ (Chaste Tree) is a deciduous, vase-shaped shrub noted for its long blooming season and disease-resistant foliage. Growing with a dense, upright habit, it features sage-scented, grayish-green palmate (hand-shaped) leaves with five to seven leaflets and silvery undersides that flicker in the wind and produce a lovely effect. Highly ornamental, spectacular sprays, 12 in. long (30 cm), of small, fragrant, vibrant blue-violet flowers appear from summer to fall, attracting scores of butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. Fast growing and low maintenance, ‘Shoal Creek’ develops a naturally well-balanced shape and doesn’t require pruning. A wonderful addition to summer landscape color without the work involved with bedding plants!
- Exceptionally vigorous, ‘Shoal Creek’ grows, with a spreading habit, up to 4-15 ft. tall (120 – 450 cm) and 4-12 ft. wide (120-360 cm). This versatile plant can be trained as a large shrub or small multi-trunked tree. In cold winter areas, Chaste Tree grows only as a modest-sized perennial shrub because it often suffers winter dieback or dies to the ground. Even though plants may die to the ground (in Zone 5-6 winters), the roots often survive and push up as much as 4-7 ft. (120-210 cm) of new growth the following year.
- Winner of the Gold Medal Award of The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
- A full sun lover, this plant is easily grown in loose, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Thrives in heat. Tolerates partial shade, but the best flower production occurs in full sun. In cold areas, provide a sheltered location such as a west- or south-facing building wall to protect it from the cold. Drought tolerant once established.
- Perfect as specimen plant in the lawn or in shrub borders, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens and foundation plantings. Impressive when planted in a row along a property line or a driveway and lovely as a small patio tree.
- No serious insect or disease problems. May occasionally develop fungal problems, such as leaf spot or root rot
- Deer resistant. Salt tolerant.
- Blooms on new growth from the current season. Cutting back side branches by 1/3 during the first two or three years may help promote dense branch growth. Cut back in winter or early spring
- Native to southern Europe and central Asia
Vitex is one of the most liberally reseeding plants I have ever grown.
In an interesting twist, it got a couple of its nicknames — chaste plant and monk’s pepper — from old beliefs that utilizing potions made from the plant’s berries helped maidens remain maidenly, and helped monks adhere to their vows of chastity.
Hardy in zones 6-9, V. agnus-castus is sometimes referred to as “lilac of the South” because its beautiful, 5- to 12-inch purple, lavender, off-white, or light pink flower spikes resemble those of lilac. Other nicknames include sage tree, and Indian spice vitex.
Photo by Gretchen Heber.
Yet another nickname, hemp tree, stems from the appearance of plant’s leaves, which resemble those of the cannabis plant. Fortunately, the DEA has never beat down my door.
This butterfly-attractor can be pruned into shrub form, or allowed to reach tree heights — 15 to 20 feet — with a spread as wide as 10 to 15 feet. As a tree, expect it to be multi-trunked and vase-shaped, similar to crape myrtle.
Native to China and India, V. agnus-castus has been planted in the United States for many years, and this fast-growing and deer-resistant plant has even naturalized in the southern United States.
Here’s what’s to come in this article:
Let’s take a look at the history and growing habits of this attractive plant, so you can grow your own.
A Plethora of Purposes
Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans ascribed many healing powers to the seeds of vitex, mostly gastrointestinal.
And as I mentioned above, vitex has long been associated with sexual passion, or rather, a lack of it. Ancients put the leaves in the beds of maidens whose maidenhood they wished to preserve.
Today, some women take vitex-containing supplements to ease symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome. Other people take it to curb acne.
Happy to Reproduce (And Where to Buy)
Vitex loves hot and dry growing conditions. It wants full sun and well-draining soil — either acidic or alkaline.
We planted ours in native soil mixed with leftover builder dirt, with nothing special added in. The area where we planted it — that strip between the sidewalk and street common in suburban neighborhoods — was formerly home to St. Augustine grass.
Photo by Gretchen Heber.
At the top of this article, I mentioned that vitex reseeds generously. In actuality, I would go so far as to say it’s invasive.
Ours have multiplied all over the stinkin’ place.
If you don’t cut the spent blooms off, the plant will form attractive berries, which contain seeds that are more than happy to make more vitex plants wherever they fall.
With that in mind, if you’re thinking you want to add vitex to your landscape, you can buy nursery starts in containers of varying sizes.
Purple flowering plants are available in #3 or #5 containers from Nature Hills Nursery.
This traditional chaste tree specimen has a mature height and spread of 15-25 feet. This variety can be grown in zones 5-9.
Looking for something a little smaller? The ‘Blue Puffball’ cultivar is perfect for growing as a shrub. And live plants are available from Nature Hills Nursery.
V. agnus-castus ‘PIIVAC-Il’
It will reach a maximum height and spread of 3-4 feet, and is available in #1 or #3 containers. It can be grown in zones 6-9.
The ‘Pink Pinnacle’ cultivar is also available exclusively from Nature Hills.
V. agnus-castus ‘V07-SC-OP-4’
These are available in #3 containers, and will reach a mature height and spread of 3-4 feet. This pink variety will grow well in zones 6-9.
‘Shoal Creek’ is another new cultivar with violet-blue flower spikes, and it’s available from Nature Hills.
‘Shoal Creek’ Chaste Tree
It will reach a max height and spread of 10-12 feet, and plants are available in #3 containers. It grows best in zones 6-9.
If you’d prefer to plant seeds, consider these, also available via Amazon.
V. Agnus-Castus, 25 Seeds
You’ll receive 25 seeds.
In the Dark of Night
You can also propagate vitex from cuttings.
To do this, steal a 4- to 6-inch softwood cutting from your neighbor’s plant in late spring or early summer. It’s important that you choose a piece of stem that’s neither brand new, nor fully mature.
You can determine this by bending a stem. It if breaks with a snap, bingo! Softwood. If it bends but does not break, that section is too immature. If the stem doesn’t bend at all, it is hardwood and not suitable for propagation.
Photo by Gretchen Heber.
Prepare a destination container by filling it with a soilless mix containing a good bit of perlite, moistening the mix, and dipping a pencil into the mix to create a hole for your cutting.
Make sure the end of your propagation piece is cleanly cut, remove the lower leaves, and then dip it in rooting hormone — liquid or powder.
Place the cutting in the prepared container and gently press the potting mix up against the stem. Place a plastic dome, if you have one, or a clear plastic bag over the container and place it in bright, indirect light to create a miniature greenhouse.
Photo by Gretchen Heber.
Check the cutting daily, adding a bit of water if the potting mix feels dry. After four to five weeks, check for roots by either seeing if any are peeking out of the holes in the bottom of the container, or gently lifting the plant out of the container.
When you see roots, you can remove the plastic, and transfer to a larger container filled with 80 percent soil and 20 percent perlite.
Leave the starts in their pots for several months, and then transplant to the garden the following spring.
A Hard Prune, And That’s About It
Experts say this deciduous plant should be cut to the ground every winter to keep it a manageable size. That doesn’t happen at my house. We have a hard enough time just keeping it off the sidewalk, so it doesn’t annoy passersby.
Prune as you like for shape — into a full shrub, or more tree-like. Ours sends up these crazy, skinny, long, top-heavy canes from the base; we whack those off because they look stupid, and they fall over into the sidewalk or into the street where my son parks his car. Our car.
Photo by Gretchen Heber.
The literature will tell you to water vitex infrequently but deeply from April to October. I guess if you count the five or so rainfalls we might get during that time in Austin, then that’s what ours gets.
We give it no supplemental water and no fertilizer. And yet, it’s unstoppable.
If your vitex looks like it needs a little pick-me-up, give it a dose of 10-10-10 fertilizer in early spring and in early summer.
Maybe, Maybe Not
Although our V. agnus-castus plants have never been bothered by pests or diseases, other gardners have had to watch out for a few problems.
If you see aphids, trying blasting them away with water, or try an insecticidal soap such as this one, available on Amazon from Garden Safe.
Garden Safe Houseplant and Garden Insect Killer, 24-Ounce Spray
This 24-ounce spray bottle is ready to use.
Scale can also be water-blasted off, or you can use neem oil to smother them. Consider this ready-to-use neem oil from Bayer Advanced, available via Amazon.
Bayer Advanced Natria Neem Oil Concentrate, 24 Oz.
This potion is also effective against whiteflies, which some gardeners have reported seeing on vitex.
Big or Small, It’s a Keeper
If you have a large space that needs filling quickly, or if you’re diligent with the pruners, vitex might be a good choice for you.
This fast-grower can be kept trimmed to bush size or allowed to grow into a multi-trunked, vase-shaped tree. Either way, you’ll be rewarded with attractive, lilac-like boom spikes all summer long.
Have you ever grown V. agnus-castus? Which of its many nicknames does it go by in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments section below. If you’d like to try your hand at another shrub-slash-tree, consider Chinese fringe flower.
Photos by Gretchen Heber © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Nature Hills Nursery, Jon Valley, Garden Safe, and Bayer. Uncredited photos: .
The staff at Gardener’s Path are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice intended to assess, diagnose, prescribe, or promise cure. Gardener’s Path and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness.
About Gretchen Heber
A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every 3-4 years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them. To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats.
Common names: “Texas Lilac Vitex”, “Texas Lilac”, “Vitex”, “Hemp Tree”, “Sage Tree”, “Indian Spice” or “Chaste Tree”
Botanical names: Vitex agnus-castus
A favorite in Texas gardens, the Texas Lilac Vitex grows quickly and offers easy maintenance. Although thought to be a native of China, India and Southern Europe, it has been cultivated in North America for over 300 years. North Texas gardeners enjoy this Texas Superstar Plant as either a large shrub or small tree and it works well in xeriscape gardens.
Size: 10-15 feet tall, up to 15 feet wide
Flowers: Profuse spikes of lavender flowers bloom heavily in the early summer and then sporadically throughout the summer and fall.
Bloom time: May to September
Leaves: Palmate, compound leaves with five to seven leaflets. Leaves have a spicy fragrance when crushed. Fall color is yellow.
Plant Type: Deciduous shrub (loses leaves in winter)
Pests and Disease Problems: Vitex is heat, drought and pest tolerant.
Growing in North Texas
Propagate Vitex from seeds or cuttings. You can also propagate by layering lowering limbs (see NCSU instructions on layering). Transplant volunteer seedlings elsewhere in the garden. Fall remains the best time to transplant Vitex because they establish more easily in cooler weather. However, you can add container-grown plants into the landscape at any time.
Vitex grows best in full sun — at least 6 hours per day. Once established, Vitex requires only a little supplemental water every week or two depending on rainfall. Vitex accepts a wide range of soil conditions provided the soil is not compacted. Fertilize at planting time and each spring with either a timed-release product or a layer of compost.
Trim Vitex in late winter to early spring. Thin out older canes to encourage new growth from the base. It blooms on new wood so prune before foliage emerges in the spring. Deadhead spent spikes to encourage continuous flowering.
Warning: The Vitex’s juice or sap is an irritant that can cause painful blisters.
Texas Superstar Plants: Vitex, Texas Lilac, or Chaste Tree
Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Vitex, or Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)by Dr. William C. Welch, Professor & Landscape Horticulturist
“Easy Gardens for North Central Texas”; Steve Huddleston and Pamela Crawford; Color Garden Publishing; 2009; pp 270-271
Plant Propagation by Layering: Instructions for the Home Gardener
The Vitex aka Chaste Tree is a crowd favorite for North Texas, and it has one of the longest blooming seasons for flowering trees in Texas. Beautiful lilac purple blooms that are extremely fragrant, adorn the Vitex ‘Shoal Creek’ tree shown below from May to September. The blooms are irresistible to pollinators of all sorts including; bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Vitex are large multi stemmed shrubs that maintain fairly dense, symmetrical and rounded canopies.
‘Shoal Creek’ Vitex Tree Flowers
Vitex trees do not drop any fruit, there are no known insects that feed on them, they have no known diseases, and they do not require any special soil when planted in North Texas. They can tolerate most soil conditions, provided they are well drained, and will flourish in full sun. The Vitex is also proudly designated as a Texas Superstar Shrub by Texas A&M University.
Vitex ‘Shoal Creek’ at Treeland Nursery
Dark Purple Flower on a ‘Delta Blue’ Vitex
At Treeland Nursery, we sell the Vitex ‘Shoal Creek’ and Vitex ‘Delta Blue’ varieties. The Vitex ‘Shoal Creek’ cultivar was selected for it vigorous growth habit, large flower spikes and it produces the best lilac purple flowers. The Vitex ‘Delta Blue’ cultivar is known for it’s brilliant bright blue-purple flowers, smaller sized leaves, and it shares the same fast growth rate as the ‘Shoal Creek’.
‘Delta Blue’ Vitex 30 Gallon Tree preparing for it’s next round of blooms.
Vitex trees work in just about any landscape design as long as full sun is permitted. This is a recent installation of ours at The Oaks of Argyle, in Argyle, Texas where a customer wanted to accent behind her pool and hot tub area. The flower petals are not messy next to pools like crape myrtles can be. Right when this was taken the blooms were just preparing, by now it will be lush and full of colorful blooms.
Vitex is used to landscape behind a pool
They are a fabulous tree for Texas, and we are even getting ready to plant more around the farm ourselves. If you would like to learn more about the Vitex trees we offer please visit our website, or feel free to call 972.372.4737 or email us at [email protected] with any questions.