Vitex agnus-castus / Chaste Tree / Seeds

(Code: B&T_155)
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Vitex agnus-castus / Chaste Tree / Seeds

A fragrant shrub or small tree with violet-blue racemes of flowers in late summer and autumn. Plants have large appealing palm-like leaves and they grow 2-3m tall.  They form a good natural branched shape, or can be trained into a single trunk small tree. 

The Chaste Tree grows best in a sheltered sunny position in well drained soil.  They are drought tolerant once established.  The scented flowers attract pollinators.  They are widely used as a traditional medicine as well as an ornamental garden plant.

Skin irritant.

Pack of 30 seeds.  Sow spring to summer.  Sowing instructions and a colour photo are printed on the packet.

See how your seeds are packed.

Hardiness Hardy shrub or small tree, hardy to about -10C
Flowers Late summer into autumn
Height 2m - 3m
Spread 2m - 3m
Conditions  Full sun in a warm and sheltered location in composted well drained soil
Sow Sow in spring to summer    Soak the seeds first for 24 hours in hand-hot water, then sow 2-3 seeds each into small pots of sieved compost.  Cover with about 5mm of compost and keep at a warm 25-30C.  Sufficient warmth is important.  Seeds germinate in 2-4 weeks, sometimes up to three months.  Germination is erratic, so sow more than you need.  Thin to one strong seedling per pot and then pot on to a bigger pot as needed and plant outside after hardening off. Summer sown seedlings should be protected in a greenhouse or cold frame in the first winter before planting out in the spring.
Grow Plant in a sheltered and sunny place in the garden.  Try not to move plants later as they do not like root disturbance.  Allow space for the plant to grow.  The size can be controlled (if necessary) but cutting back up to 2/3rds of the growth each year in the winter.  Plants are deciduous and drop their leaves in winter, with leaves growing again late in spring, later than many other shrubs.  Compost around the base of each shrub at least once a year.