Bluebeard (Caryopteris X Clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’): A Comprehensive Guide

Bluebeard Plant

Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’, commonly known as “Bluebeard,” is a stunning, low-maintenance perennial shrub that adds vibrant color and texture to any garden. With its striking golden foliage and delicate blue flowers, this plant has become a favorite among gardeners and landscapers alike.

In this guide, we will delve into the various aspects of the bluebeard plant, from its cultural requirements to its uses and maintenance. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice enthusiast, this comprehensive resource will provide you with valuable insights into the care and cultivation of the bluebeard shrub.

What is the Bluebeard Plant (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’)?

The bluebeard plant, scientifically known as Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’, is a deciduous perennial shrub that belongs to the Verbenaceae family. It is a hybrid species, resulting from the crossbreeding of two Asian Caryopteris species, namely Caryopteris incana and Caryopteris mongolica. The resulting plant exhibits a compact, bushy growth habit and is celebrated for its striking foliage and abundant blue flowers.

The ‘Worcester Gold’ variety is particularly renowned for its golden-yellow leaves, which provide a brilliant contrast to the plant’s azure blooms. This cultivar typically reaches a height and spread of 24 to 36 inches, making it an excellent choice for borders, mass plantings, and mixed perennial beds.

Key Takeaways – Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’)

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the bluebeard plant and its care requirements, let’s explore the following key takeaways:

  • Culture
  • Uses
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • Fertilizer
  • Soil
  • Pruning
  • Propagation
  • Container Popularity
  • Common Diseases
  • Disease Diagnosis
  • Common Pests
  • Botanist’s Tips
  • Fun Facts
  • Links to External Resources

Now, let’s delve into each of these aspects in detail to equip you with the knowledge needed to cultivate and appreciate the beauty of the bluebeard shrub.



The bluebeard plant, Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’, thrives in a variety of climates and is valued for its adaptability. Understanding its cultural requirements is paramount for ensuring its optimal growth and development.


This robust perennial is considered hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5-9, making it suitable for a wide range of temperate climates. It exhibits excellent tolerance to both heat and drought once established, contributing to its reputation as a resilient landscape plant.

Growth Habit

Bluebeard is characterized by a compact, mounding growth habit, with a mature height and spread of approximately 24 to 36 inches. Its dense, bushy form makes it an excellent choice for adding structure and color to garden borders and mixed beds.

Bloom Time

The bluebeard plant produces an abundance of tiny, aromatic blue flowers from mid-summer through early fall, attracting pollinators such as butterflies and bees. The long-lasting blooms provide a delightful contrast against the plant’s vibrant foliage, adding visual interest to the garden.


The versatile nature of the bluebeard plant makes it well-suited for various landscape applications. Consider incorporating it into your garden design for the following purposes:

  • Border Planting: Bluebeard’s compact form and colorful foliage make it an excellent choice for defining garden borders and creating visual interest along walkways and patios.
  • Mass Plantings: When planted in groups, bluebeard can create a stunning visual impact, especially when its blue blooms are in full display.
  • Mixed Perennial Beds: Pairing bluebeard with other perennials and ornamental grasses can add texture and contrast to mixed perennial beds, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal.


Proper watering is crucial for the health and vigor of the bluebeard plant, especially during its establishment phase and periods of prolonged dryness.

Watering Guidelines

  • Establishment Phase: During the first growing season, ensure consistent moisture to encourage healthy root establishment. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on local weather conditions and soil moisture levels.
  • Mature Plants: Once established, bluebeard exhibits good drought tolerance. Water deeply when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry, providing approximately 1 inch of water per week during periods of insufficient rainfall.


Bluebeard thrives in full sun, displaying its best growth and flowering performance when provided with ample sunlight.

Sun Exposure

  • Ideal Conditions: Plant bluebeard in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily to promote robust growth and prolific flowering.
  • Partial Shade: While bluebeard can tolerate partial shade, prolonged periods of low light may result in reduced flower production and less vibrant foliage color.


Appropriate fertilization can enhance the overall health and vigor of the bluebeard plant, promoting lush foliage and abundant blooms.

Fertilization Schedule

  • Early Spring: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated for flowering shrubs, following the manufacturer’s recommended application rates.
  • Avoid Excessive Nitrogen: To prevent excessive vegetative growth at the expense of flowering, choose a fertilizer with a lower nitrogen content and a higher ratio of phosphorus and potassium.


Understanding the soil preferences of the bluebeard plant is essential for creating optimal growing conditions and ensuring its long-term vitality.

Soil Type

  • Well-Draining Soil: Bluebeard prefers well-draining, moderately fertile soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH (pH 6.0-7.0).
  • Amendment: Incorporating organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure can enhance soil structure and fertility, promoting robust growth and bloom production.


Pruning Time

Prune bluebeard plant in early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge. This timing allows you to remove any winter damage and shape the shrub before the onset of the growing season.

Pruning Techniques

  • Removing Old Growth: Prune out any dead, damaged, or weak stems to encourage vigorous new growth and maintain the plant’s compact form.
  • Thinning: Lightly thinning the branches can promote air circulation and reduce the risk of disease while maintaining an attractive silhouette.
  • Deadheading: Promptly remove spent flower clusters to prolong the blooming period and stimulate additional flower production.


Propagation Methods

Bluebeard can be propagated through several methods, including:
Softwood Cuttings: Take softwood cuttings in early summer, and root them in a moist, well-draining potting mix to propagate new plants.
Division: Divide mature clumps of bluebeard in early spring to create new plants, ensuring each division has a healthy root system and several growing stems.
Seed Propagation: While viable seeds are produced, propagating bluebeard from seed requires patience, as the resulting plants may not be true to the parent cultivar.

Container Popularity

Container Planting Tips

If you wish to cultivate bluebeard in containers, consider the following tips for success:
Container Size: Choose a large, deep container to accommodate the plant’s extensive root system and provide stability against strong winds.
Drainage: Ensure the container has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, as overly wet soil can lead to root rot and other moisture-related issues.
Soil Mix: Use a well-draining potting mix formulated for shrubs and perennials, supplemented with perlite or coarse sand to improve aeration.

Common Diseases

Powdery Mildew

Bluebeard is susceptible to powdery mildew, a common fungal disease that manifests as a powdery white coating on the leaves and stems.

Prevention and Treatment

  • Cultural Practices: Ensure proper spacing between plants to promote air circulation and reduce humidity around the foliage.
  • Fungicidal Sprays: Apply a preventive fungicide labeled for powdery mildew control, following the manufacturer’s instructions to protect against infection.

Disease Diagnosis


Identifying common disease symptoms is crucial for prompt diagnosis and effective management. Look for the following signs of potential disease issues in bluebeard plants:

  • Leaf Spots: Irregular dark spots or lesions on the foliage
  • Wilting: Sudden wilting or drooping of leaves and stems
  • Discoloration: Unusual yellowing, browning, or discoloration of foliage
  • Abnormal Growth: Stunted growth, distorted leaves, or abnormal shoot development

Professional Consultation

If you notice any concerning symptoms or signs of disease, consider consulting a local horticulturist or plant health specialist for accurate diagnosis and personalized recommendations for treatment.

Common Pests


Aphids can occasionally infest bluebeard plants, clustering on the tender new growth and causing damage through their feeding activities.

Control Measures

  • Natural Predators: Encourage the presence of beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings, which prey on aphids and help maintain natural pest control.
  • Hose Spraying: Dislodge aphids with a strong stream of water from a garden hose, reducing their numbers and minimizing potential damage.

Botanist’s Tips

Expert Recommendations

To ensure the success of your bluebeard plants, consider the following tips and insights from experienced botanists and horticultural professionals:

  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of bluebeard plants to conserve soil moisture, suppress weed growth, and insulate the roots against temperature fluctuations.
  • Overwintering: In regions with harsh winters, provide a layer of winter mulch or pine boughs to protect the base of the plant from frost damage.
  • Monitoring Soil Moisture: Regularly check the moisture levels in the soil, especially during hot and dry periods, to prevent water stress and dehydration.

Fun Facts

Intriguing Tidbits

Discover some captivating and lesser-known facts about the bluebeard plant that showcase its unique characteristics and ecological significance:

  • Pollinator Magnet: Bluebeard is a valuable nectar source for pollinators, attracting bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to the garden.
  • Drought Tolerance: Once established, bluebeard exhibits remarkable tolerance to drought, making it an excellent choice for low-maintenance landscapes and water-wise gardens.
  • Seasonal Interest: In addition to its vibrant summer blooms, the golden foliage of ‘Worcester Gold’ bluebeard adds year-round visual appeal to the landscape.

Links to External Resources

Further Reading

Explore the following resources to expand your knowledge of bluebeard plants and access reputable insights from renowned gardening organizations and botanical institutions:


The bluebeard plant, specifically the ‘Worcester Gold’ variety (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Worcester Gold’), stands as a captivating and versatile addition to any garden or landscape. Its vibrant foliage, abundant blue flowers, and low-maintenance nature make it a standout choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

By adhering to the cultural recommendations outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can cultivate and appreciate the exceptional beauty and resilience of the bluebeard shrub. Whether you are seeking a striking border plant, a valuable pollinator attractant, or a hassle-free perennial for your garden, the bluebeard plant holds immense potential for enhancing the natural beauty of your outdoor spaces.

With proper care and attention, your bluebeard plants can thrive and bring joy for years to come, offering a visual spectacle and ecological benefits that enrich the landscape. Embrace the allure of the bluebeard shrub and savor the rewards of cultivating this exceptional perennial in your own garden.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.