The chaste tree (Vitex agnus castus) is a summer shrub that can get quite tall in just one season. It generally dies back in the winter and sprouts again from the roots or the 1- to 2-foot stems in the spring.

I learned about this shrub around 20 years ago when Penn State sent plants to be evaluated in Master Gardeners‘ trial gardens all across the state. At that time, it was considered just barely viable in zone 6. Now, as our weather gets warmer, it may be viable in zone 7. (The higher the zone, the warmer the weather — Florida is in zone 10).

Martie Young is a Penn State Master Gardener from Adams County. Penn State Extension of Adams County is located at 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Suite 204, Gettysburg, phone 334-6271.

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