Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Paul Guzman
The Vitex tree botanical name: Agnus-castus. It likes full Sun – USDA Zones 6-10. Also called the Chaste tree, Chasteberry, and Lilac Chaste Berry. It will eventually reach about 15-20ft. tall and wide sometimes taller after 30 years.
A low water tree once it is well established. Beautiful spiky dark lilac blooms in late spring and early summer. There is also a white variety not as showy as the dark lilac flowers but still a great tree for a Xeriscape or a traditional landscape area.
The Vitex Tree has a naturally broad and spreading multi-trunk display. You can also use it as a large shrub or train it for use as a small tree. Just prune off lower branches and limbs to accent the landscape or patio. It will lose its leaves in early November and will start to grow new foliage in late April.
The Flowers of the Vitex Tree
It will start to bloom in late May or so and will bloom for another 30 days. Extend the blooming season by trimming off (deadhead) the expired blooms for another blast of blooms.
The Expired blooms look like small bb pellets – See Photo Below.
Where to plant the Vitex Tree?
Best to plant it in full sun they will tolerate some shade but will do better with full sun. Water regularly the first 2-3 years after initial planting. Once established you can cut back watering to about 1-2 times per week during the mid-summer season. After the fifth season, you can cut back to about twice per month.
Highlight this tree in a Xeriscaping landscape as they will tolerate the reflected heat from the rock ground cover. Use them with other Xeriscape plants but do not plant them underneath the shade of this beautiful tree.
Problems with this tree
The Vitex tree is not susceptible to insects or diseases. There have been known cases of powdery mildew with this tree. Usually caused by overwatering or too much rainfall in the area. Treat it with fungus control. If you find a white powdery substance on the foliage. Click on the following Insects and diseases on plants for what it looks like on other plants.
Thysanoptera, also known as thrips, will attack the Vitex. These little pests suck on the stems. Use a systemic insecticide to kill them. Or spray them with Neem oil. B.T.W. not all thrips are bad, some are beneficial. Read this post on gardening know-how.
The Texas Mountain Laurel is another great-looking purple flowering tree.