Vitex negundo ‘Heterophylla’ (Cut-Leaved Chaste Tree) [15 Seeds]


Germination Information: I recommend these seeds for experienced seed-starters only, because they may require some patience and experimentation. The easiest approach is to sow the seeds about 1/4″ deep in fall to early winter, setting them outdoors in a spot protected from mice so they can get a chilling period and then germinate when conditions are right in spring.

If you sow after December, set the pot in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for about 3 months before moving it to a warm, bright place for germination. (Remove the bag if the pot will be exposed to any direct sun.)

It is also possible that these seeds could germinate if you start them in warm, moist, bright conditions. (I sowed some on April 27, indoors on a heat mat under lights, and the first seedling appeared on May 4, with a few others popping up over the next month.) But if you try that and no seedlings appear within 3 weeks or so, then try the refrigerator-chilling approach above before moving them back to warmth and light.

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Cut-leaved chaste tree (Vitex negundo ‘Heterophylla’, V. negundo var. heterophylla, or V. negundo Incisa Group) is a deciduous shrub or small tree with deeply cut, palmately compound leaves. Spiky clusters of light purple-blue flowers appear from mid- or late summer into fall and are always buzzing with various bees. The plant can reach 15 feet or more as a tree, but I cut it back to about 1 foot each spring; the resulting multi-stemmed shrub reaches about 6 feet in full bloom and looks something like a giant Russian sage (Perovskia). The fall color is lovely–at least it is here in PA: usually bright yellow with touches of red. Full sun. Zones 6 to 10.

Harvested in late October 2020. At least 15 seeds.


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