S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Chaste Tree ‘Shoal Creek’
in the Northeast Florida Landscape
( Vitex agnus-castus)
Chaste Tree – “Shoal Creek” ( Vitex agnus – castus ) Chaste Tree Origins:
– native to the eastern United States southern Europe and Central Asia
Vitex Shoal Creek Preferred Exposure:
– full sun to light shade
Chaste Tree Foliage | Bark:
– Attractive foliage is silvery on the surface and green underneath. Each leaf is divided into 5 to 7 long slender leaflets between two and 6 inches in length.
– Foliage is deciduous although not particularly showy in fall when leaves drop in preparation for the winter.
– Whitish tan bark of the Chaste tree is smooth textured.
Vitex Shoal Creek Chaste Tree Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Chaste trees are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions and are drought
tolerant once established in the landscape.
– High salt tolerance, Chaste trees tolerate coastal conditions well and are an
ideal choice for coastal and inland accent and ornamental trees.
Chaste Tree Size Variance:
– Can reach sizes of 10-20 feet H | 6-10 feet W depending on how many
trunks are allowed to develop when pruning from a young developing tree.
Chaste Tree Growth Habit:
– Somewhat upright branches with a broad spreading habit tend to form a rounded head ideal for an attractive landscape accent.
Vitex Agnus Shoal Creek Growth Rate
– Chaste trees grow at a good pace, particularly when considering its shorter
mature size, adding up to 12 inches or more to its height each growing season.
Chaste Tree Bloom:
– Vitex Agnus Shoal Creek is cultivated specifically for its brilliant violet
blue blooms that stand upright in clusters on the tips of new growth each summer in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape.
Vitex Water Requirements:
– Chaste trees are drought tolerant once established into the landscape and
will fare well with no additional irrigation after initial care to get the tree growing and surviving on its own.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– Chaste tree flowers are attractive to butterflies and are a great addition to
a butterfly garden, where most plants tend to be lower growing flowering perennials.
Best Uses For Chaste Trees:
– Given the pest free nature and its ability to grow and thrive in low maintenance and xerascape conditions its a wonder Chaste Trees aren’t much more popular than they are. Its perhaps one of the best kept gardening secret treasures.
-The bright violet blue blooms are a real show stopper when in bloom and the attractive silvery foliage make Chaste trees an excellent choice for a small scale ornamental tree or landscape accent piece for the foundation of the home.
-The thin silvery leaves are reminiscent of a wide open hand and add color and texture to the landscape when the tree is not in bloom.
– Easy care, pest free, butterfly attracting and drought tolerant once
established, there has got to be a place in any garden for a Chaste tree!!!
Care of Chaste Tree Vitex Agnus Shoal Creek:
– Water every day during the establishment period. See watering your newly planted trees for more information.
– Prune crossing or crowded branches every few years in winter if
needed for maximum curb appeal.
– Provide a 1 ft diameter circle of mulched area where grass is kept from growing for each inch of caliper (or diameter) of trunk measured 4 inches from the ground level.
– Fertilize each spring with a mixture of Milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around the mulch
circle underneath the foliage of the tree