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First Choice Bluebeard
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Brilliant, bewitching, breathtaking blue! First Choice Bluebeard is a captivating Spirit that will wow you with dreamy, deep blue, late-season blossoms. When spring blooms are a distant memory and summer flowers are running out of steam, First Choice comes to the rescue, breathing new life into your landscape. From August through September, its lustrous green leaves are smothered in fuzzy blue blooms. The people-pleasing flowers also attract butterflies and other hungry pollinators. Requiring only an annual cut-back in spring, this compact plant forms a tidy mound with no additional pruning. Place it front-and-center in your border and let it strut its stuff.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
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Sometimes a new plant is simply discovered. Other times it takes years of deliberate breeding work for a new plant to come to fruition. In the case of First Choice Bluebeard, the latter was true. English nurseryman Peter Catt began sowing seeds in 1988 with a desire to develop a Bluebeard with a compact habit and strongly colored blue flowers. He raised five generations of plants, each time selecting the best of the best and getting a little closer to his goal. In 1992, he finally found success—First Choice was born. He had grown thousands of seedlings to produce one winning Spirit.
Got deer? First Choice Bluebeard has aromatic leaves that deer find distasteful. They tend to leave this fragrant Spirit alone. If rabbits are a problem in your garden, First Choice will give you some peace of mind also, as all kinds of chewing critters are unlikely to browse it.
How to Grow
Give First Choice Bluebeard a sunny spot in loose, free-draining soil (no sticky clay). If your soil is too heavy for its liking, you can always grow the plant in a container or a raised bed. It isn’t fussy about soil pH. As with all Spirits that develop a woody framework, wait until late winter or early spring to do any major pruning, especially in cold climates. Late-season pruning can encourage tender growth that is vulnerable to sudden freezes. Cut Bluebeard back hard to new green buds that appear in spring. Feed at that time with Bower & Branch Elements™ Fertilizer.
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