The Vitex Tree

The Vitex Tree Care

Last updated on May 18th, 2024 at 07:00 am

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

The Care of the Vitex Tree

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.

With its delicate purple blooms and aromatic foliage, is a stunning addition to any garden. But like any living thing, it requires proper care and attention to thrive. To start, make sure to choose a well-draining soil for your Vitex tree, as it prefers slightly acidic conditions.

Regular watering is essential, especially during the hotter months, but be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. Pruning is also crucial for maintaining the health and shape of your tree. It’s best to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. This will promote bushier growth and encourage more vibrant blooms.

Additionally, consider applying a slow-release fertilizer in the spring to provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth. Lastly, keep an eye out for any signs of pests or diseases, and take immediate action if necessary. With proper care and attention, your Vitex tree will flourish and become a focal point of beauty in your garden.

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 Vitex Tree
The Bright Lilac Color of the Vitex Tree

The Expired blooms look like small bb pellets – See Photo Below.

The Flowers of the Vitex Tree
Trim off Expired Vitex Blooms for a longer blooming season.

 

The blooms of the Vitex Tree
The Vitex tree has nice spiky blue blooms for color. Also called the Chaste Tree.
Chaste Tree
The Vitex tree was planted at Guzman’s Greenhouse retail store.

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. If you find a white powdery substance on the foliage treat it with fungus control.  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. 

Other Trees for the Southwest. 

The Texas Mountain Laurel is another great-looking purple flowering tree.

 

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