Bluebeard Caryopteris × clandonensis 'First Choice'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
bluebeard 'First Choice'


'First Choice' is a cultivar of the shrub commonly known as bluebeard or blue mist. It is a deciduous plant, which means it sheds its leaves annually. Its foliage is a bright to medium green color, forming a backdrop for the profusion of flowers that appear late in the summer. The leaves are lance-shaped with a lightly serrated margin, and when crushed, they may emit a pleasant fragrance. The most striking feature of the bluebeard 'First Choice' is its blooms. The plant produces clusters of small, tubular flowers that are a deep and vivid blue to violet in color. These flowers are arranged in whorls that create a showy, fluffy appearance, and they attract a variety of pollinators including bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. The stems of 'First Choice' are square in cross-section, a trait common to members in its family. When the plant is not in bloom, its overall structure is somewhat open and loose, but this casual growth habit is overlooked when the plant is adorned with its eye-catching blue flowers. The overall appearance of the plant is that of a relaxed, airy shrub with a casual elegance, highlighted by the seasonal color display of its blooms.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Bluebeard, Blue Mist, Blue Spirea

    • Common names

      Caryopteris × clandonensis 'First Choice'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Bluebeard 'First Choice' is not known to be toxic to humans. Therefore, if ingested, it is not expected to produce poisonous effects. However, as with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities could cause mild symptoms, such as dermatitis or stomach upset. Always practice caution and keep plants out of reach of young children, who might ingest plant parts out of curiosity.

    • To pets

      Bluebeard 'First Choice' is also not known to be toxic to pets. It is generally considered to be a pet-friendly plant, and ingestion should not cause poisoning in dogs or cats. Nonetheless, pet owners should still supervise their animals to prevent them from eating plants, as any foreign body can potentially cause gastrointestinal upset or blockages.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Caryopteris 'First Choice' is known to attract bees and butterflies, which are beneficial for pollination in the garden.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, this plant has good drought tolerance, making it suitable for xeriscaping or low-water landscapes.
    • Compact Size: With a relatively small and manageable size, Caryopteris 'First Choice' fits well in smaller gardens or as part of a mixed border.
    • Deer Resistance: It is generally resistant to deer browsing, which is a benefit in areas where deer predation is a problem.
    • Easy Maintenance: This plant requires minimal maintenance, with occasional pruning to maintain its shape and promote new growth.
    • Late Season Blooms: Bluebeard blooms in late summer to fall, providing color in the garden when many other plants have finished flowering.
    • Fragrance: The foliage, when crushed or brushed against, releases a pleasant, aromatic scent, adding a sensory experience to the garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Caryopteris (also known as Bluebeard) branches can be used in flower arrangements to provide a delicate touch of blue and to add volume and contrast against larger blooms.
    • The dense foliage of Caryopteris can be utilized as a natural screen or hedge in landscape design, offering privacy and a splash of color.
    • Dried Caryopteris flowers and leaves can be included in potpourri mixes to contribute a subtle fragrance and maintain a hint of summer throughout the year.
    • Caryopteris can be planted as a companion plant in vegetable gardens, where its scent may help in repelling certain pests and attracting beneficial insects.
    • Incorporating Caryopteris into a sensory garden can provide a rich experience with its textured leaves and notable late-season blooms.
    • Harvested Caryopteris stems can be used in craft projects, such as wreath making, by providing a distinctive blue element that holds its color well when dried.
    • If kept in a suitable indoor environment, potted Caryopteris can add ornamental interest to interior décor with its compact growth habit and flowering nature.
    • As a teaching tool in botanical studies or gardening workshops, Caryopteris serves well for discussions on pruning techniques due to its vigorous growth and response to cutting back.
    • Bluebeard plants can be strategically placed in gardens to serve as indicators of the changing seasons, as they typically flower late when many other plants begin to fade.
    • The woody stems of Caryopteris can be used as natural stakes for supporting other less sturdy plants in the garden.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Bluebeard is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Bluebeard is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Peace: The soft blue shades of the Caryopteris flowers, commonly known as Bluebeard, can evoke a sense of tranquility and calmness, symbolizing peace.
    • Attraction: Bluebeard plants are known to attract bees and butterflies to the garden, symbolizing allure and the ability to attract positive things into one’s life.
    • Introspection: The modest and unassuming presence of the Bluebeard can prompt self-reflection and inner contemplation, symbolizing personal introspection.
    • Longevity: As a perennial plant, Bluebeard represents longevity and the passage of time through its annual cycles of growth and dormancy.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not needed
Late Spring
  • water dropWater

    The Bluebeard, or 'First Choice', prefers moderate watering, being drought-tolerant once established. Initially, water newly planted Bluebeards twice a week, soaking the soil thoroughly to encourage root development. Once established, reduce watering to once a week, providing about 1 gallon of water per plant to maintain moisture without causing waterlogging. During hot or dry periods, increase watering slightly to prevent stress. Always check the soil moisture before watering; the top inch should be dry to the touch, indicating the plant needs water.

  • sunLight

    Bluebeard thrives in full sun conditions, requiring at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and blooming. An ideal spot for this plant would be in a south-facing garden or landscape where it can receive unfiltered sunlight throughout the day. Avoid planting in deep shade as this will significantly hinder its flowering ability and overall vitality.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Bluebeard is hardy and performs well in a wide range of temperatures, but the ideal growing conditions are between 60°F and 75°F. The plant can tolerate minimum temperatures down to about 0°F, but it may die back to the ground in freezing conditions and re-emerge in spring. It can also handle high temperatures up into the 90s, but ensure it has adequate water during these hotter periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    Regular pruning helps maintain the shape of Bluebeard and encourages more prolific blooming. Prune in late winter or early spring by cutting back the previous year's growth to about 8 inches above the ground. This also removes any dead or damaged wood and stimulates the development of new growth that will produce flowers. Pruning is typically done annually.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Bluebeard 'First Choice' thrives best in well-drained soil with a mixture of two parts garden soil, one part sand, and one part compost. It prefers soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Bluebeard 'First Choice' doesn't need frequent repotting; doing it every 2-3 years is sufficient to renew the soil and accommodate root growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Bluebeard 'First Choice' is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and does well in the average atmospheric moisture typical of outdoor conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, minimize watering in winter.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-drained soil, mulch in cold areas.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Caryopteris × clandonensis 'First Choice', commonly known as Bluebeard 'First Choice', begins with the germination of seeds planted in well-drained soil, usually in late winter to early spring. Once the seedlings emerge and are sufficiently strong, they are transplanted outdoors after the last frost, where they will grow into shrubs with woody stems. During the growing season, which is typically late spring to summer, the Bluebeard 'First Choice' enters a vegetative stage, producing lance-shaped, aromatic leaves. By late summer to fall, the plant reaches its flowering stage, producing clusters of deep blue flowers that are highly attractive to pollinators like bees and butterflies. After blooming, seeds form and can be collected for propagation or allowed to self-seed in moderate climates, while the plant itself begins to enter dormancy as temperatures drop in late fall and winter. If well-cared-for, Bluebeard 'First Choice' will continue to live as a perennial, renewing its cycle of growth, flowering, and dormancy in subsequent years.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Spring

    • The Blue Mist Shrub, scientifically known as Caryopteris × clandonensis 'First Choice', is typically propagated through the method of softwood cuttings. This is most commonly done in late spring or early summer when new growth is green and flexible. To propagate by this method, a gardener should select a healthy stem with new growth, and cut a 3 to 6 inch (7.6 to 15.2 centimeters) portion just below a node. It's crucial to strip the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting and dip the cut end in rooting hormone to encourage root development. Afterward, the cutting should be planted in a moistened mix of perlite and peat to provide good drainage and aeriation. The environment should be kept humid, often achieved by covering the cutting with a plastic bag or placing it in a propagator, until roots have established, which typically takes a few weeks. Once rooted, the new Blue Mist Shrub plant can be transplanted to its final location.