We’re into the shortest days of the year right now. As far north as we are here in Michigan, the sunlight is extremely limited. It’s the complete opposite of our summer days, where the sun doesn’t set until the late-night talk shows come on. Not that I would know: I’m usually asleep long before then.
That’s the time of the year that Beyond Midnight® bluebeard (Caryopteris, 2 to 3′ tall and wide) is thriving. Long, hot, sunny days are what it wants. A little summer drought sounds good to it, too. Cold, dark winters with snow and rain are exactly what it doesn’t like. Good thing it’s dormant.
Beyond Midnight® bluebeard has deeper color than other varieties, with dark blue flowers and rich green foliage that is nice and glossy. It’s just generally a more handsome plant than older varieties.
It’s not all good looks. Sure, the blue flowers are attractive to us, but they are also appealing to bees, which love them. And deer? Well, deer don’t like it at all. This is a really functional plant for USDA 5-9 if you have full sun and well-drained soil.
Go ahead and put that winter coat on and take a walk. Make a note of the soggy places in the yard and where the snowplow piles up drifts, and don’t plant Caryopteris there!
I admit to feeling like I’m going dormant in December. Maybe I was a little too inspired by Fat Bear Week!
But we have to fight that feeling. The plants may be dormant, but the nursery isn’t. Things are quiet, sure, but there are still heaters to check and plants to water because, as we all know, dormant isn’t dead.
Finally, it’s Ozzy Osbourne’s birthday today. I think Beyond Midnight® is a good fit for him for many reasons (if you’re not familiar with Ozzy’s persona, look him up at your own risk), and would do well in his Los Angeles yard. And if there ever was a time to blast ‘Crazy Train,’ it’s 2020.
Hang in there, everyone. People need plants, and the plants need you.
*This Plant of the Week post was written by Jane-Beggs-Joles