These plants are your best bets for summertime blues (in the garden)

·3 min read
Blue is a popular flower color for summer, such as the hydrangea shown in this photo. Hydrangea's color is determined by the Ph level in the soil. It needs an acid soil with a Ph level less than 5.5 to be blue.
Blue is a popular flower color for summer, such as the hydrangea shown in this photo. Hydrangea's color is determined by the Ph level in the soil. It needs an acid soil with a Ph level less than 5.5 to be blue.

Our landscapes all have the potential to be very colorful. You can find a plant for every color in the rainbow, and the color blue is extremely popular. This week, I would like to share with you some of my favorite summer flowering shrubs with blue flowers.

Vitex, also known as Chaste Tree, is a shrub that typically grows in the south. There are a few varieties that grow in our zone, and it's a great summer flowering shrub that is able to easily endure our summer heat. Here are a couple of great varieties.

Vitex Blue Puffball is the first perfectly dwarf chaste tree. Growing to only 3-4' tall and wide, Blue Puffball is a perfect ball-shaped plant with deep blue, fragrant flowers from June through September.

Vitex Summertime Blues is another variety which will grow larger, 4-6’ tall with larger flowers.

Caryopteris, also know as Bluebeard Shrub, is another great choice for blue flowers. It is also a great pollinator and great for attracting butterflies.

Caryopteris Dark Knight is a compact mounding shrub growing 3-4’ tall and wide. It has fragrant, deep blue-purple flowers backed by silver-gray foliage. It has an airy texture and can be cut back in spring to encourage density. It creates a wonderful border for perennial beds and can also be used along walks and entryways

Caryopteris Petite Blue is a dwarf variety that grows 2-3’ tall. The flowers contrast nicely with the dark green, glossy foliage. This plant is very attractive to butterflies. Use this shrub in a mixed shrub border or perennial beds.

Buddelia, also known as the Butterfly Bush, and it truly lives up to its name. It comes in shades of white and pink, but the blues are definitely the most popular. Here are a couple of great varieties with blue flowers.

Lo and Behold Blue Chip Jr. is a low-growing variety of Buddelia, only growing 1-3’ tall. It is an excellent border plant. It could also be a welcome addition to the perennial garden.

Pugster Blue is a compact variety of Buddelia that has the large, full flowers normally seen on much larger plants. It blooms from early spring through frost with blue flowers, each with a tiny yellow-orange eye in the center. Thanks to thick, sturdy stems, it offers improved hardiness, and it reblooms without deadheading.

There are also several varieties of macrophylla type Hydrangeas that have blue flowers. I should say they have the potential for blue flowers. This is because the color of the flower will be determined by the Ph level in the soil. They need an acid soil with a Ph level less than 5.5 to be blue. This can be accomplished with Aluminum Sulphate fertilizer. Here are a couple of the most reliable varieties.

Nantucket Blue was selected for prolific blooming, vibrant bloom color and compact growth habit. This repeat blooming hydrangea features an abundance of summertime flower clusters until frost. It's a vigorous grower that reaches 4 to 6 feet tall and wide.

Nikko Repeato is another reblooming selection of Nikko Blue Hydrangea. This is an improved version of an older variety. The cold-hardy plant showcases large, deep blue flowers from spring through fall. A neat and uniform grower, it reaches 4 to 6 feet tall and wide.

Blue Enchantress has striking ruby-black stems supporting big, mop head flowers on this exquisite reblooming hydrangea. It's a superb border shrub for color throughout summer, with flowers that age to a vintage cream-splashed green color. It is prized for cut or dried flower arrangements.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Blue flowered plants are extremely popular. Here are some favorites