Vitex, Chaste Tree, Lilac Chaste Tree, Monk's Pepper
Vitex agnus-castus 'Abbeville Blue'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vitex (VY-teks) (Info)
Species: agnus-castus (AG-nus KAS-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Abbeville Blue
Synonym:Agnus-castus robusta
Synonym:Agnus-castus vulgaris
Synonym:Vitex agnus
Synonym:Vitex hybrida
Synonym:Vitex integra

Category:

Perennials

Shrubs

Trees

Height:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Spacing:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Medium Blue

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Deciduous

Blue-Green

Aromatic

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Flowers are fragrant

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By simple layering

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Garden Grove, California

Jay, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Granite City, Illinois

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Clarksville, Maryland

Pocomoke City, Maryland

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Lakewood, Ohio

North Augusta, South Carolina

Indian Mound, Tennessee

El Paso, Texas

Rockport, Texas

Orlean, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

Yorktown, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Apr 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Valued for its lavender-violet flowers in late summer. There are white and pinkish forms, but I much prefer the violet cultivars like 'LeCompte' and 'Montrose Purple'.

I've seen several plants here in Z6a that have been reliably wood-hardy. Responds well to hard pruning in spring. Very late to leaf out in spring, and blooms here in late summer.

In Z5 where topgrowth may be killed to the ground, it can be treated like a buddleia or a herbaceous perennial and cut to near the ground in spring. This does not impair flowering, which occurs on new growth. Vitex should be planted in spring, especially towards its northern limit of hardiness.

Reliable sources state that this plant is deer-resistant, as might be expected of a plant with fragrant foliage.... read more

Positive

On May 31, 2010, trackinsand from mid central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

this is a big favorite of mine. they grow very, very quickly...from a newly planted 4" pot in spring to 5' tall by summer's end. they have an erratic growing form (going every which way) and although it is possible to train them into a standard, it takes work. i have them bush form and tree form. they are drought tolerant although they do better with regular summer waterings. they are pest and disease free and the bees absolutely adore them. they bloom all summer for me too. full sun or part to mostly shade, they adapt. all in all, i can suggest this plant without reservation to anyone looking for a hardy garden plant, especially in the south where growing conditions are sometimes difficult.

i get mine from bluestone perennials. they are ultra cheap and grow so fast... read more

Positive

On Jun 5, 2008, SantaRosaGal from Jay, FL wrote:

I bought our Vitex and planted it in a southwestern area about 25 feet from our house. It gets late morning and afternoon sun. It is now blooming and is a beautiful specimen. The bush itself is about 3 feet tall and there are approximately 16 deep blue/purple "clusters" of blooms on it. I have noticed that it "wilts" from the heat of the day but after my husband waters it, it perks right back up. Our temperatures have been scorching for the past week and we haven't had rain for about two weeks, so I suspect until this plant gets well established, we will need to water it daily. I live in zone 8b, Chumuckla/Jay, Florida, between the Alabama border and the Gulf Coast.

Positive

On May 22, 2006, mygerl1 from Pocomoke City, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have two of the Blue Vitex agnus-castus trees. They were planted here about 8 yrs ago by the previous owners and they are beautiful and very large. They are trouble-free and the birds love to go back and forth to them from the feeder. They have no insects or diseases that I know of. There is a lot of dead wood in the interior of the plant and I can't find anything about pruning them. They are about 15 feet high and about 10-12 ft in width.