Why plant Buddleia when you can grow Vitex? Mid summer blue-lavender fragrant spires begin in July and carry on through August on bushy plants with attractive palmate foliage. Here in the northeast, our colder winters don’t allow plants to become as large (10-15′) as the data says, since they do get some winter die back. Vitex blooms on new growth, so it can be cut back hard each spring to grow into a perfectly sized 5-6′ flowering shrub. And yes, it is a great addition to a pollinator garden as it is a favorite of butterflies and bees.
The fruits of Vitex agnus-castus resemble peppercorns and have medicinal properties. It has been used to treat women’s health issues such fertility and menstrual problems. In the middle ages it was used to reduce the male libido (heaven’s no!) hence its common name, Chaste Tree. Grow Vitex in full sun in well drained soil in zones (5, with protection) 6-9.