How to Grow Tall Blue Rabbit Brush (Chrysothamnus nauceosus)

Name: Tall Blue Rabbit Brush
Variety: Chrysothamnus nauceosus
Family: Asteraceae
Cultivar:  N/A
Zones: 3 to 7
AHS Heat Zone: Not defined for this plant
Soil Type: Sandy loam to clay loam
Soil pH: 5.5 to 6.5
Sunlight: Sun to full sun
Watering: Dry to normal
Fertilizer: Flowering shrub and tree fertilizer
Availability: Sold as seeds or live, potted plants.

When to plant: Seeds can be started indoors four to six weeks before the last frost. Sow seeds outdoors after the last frost. Live plants can be planted after the last frost.

Planting Method
Seeds: Seeds can be planted 1/2-inch deep.

Live plants: Dig a planting hole twice the size of the root ball and as deep as the soil in the container. The soil should be fast-draining. If the soil in your area is clayey, amend with perlite to help with draining. Center the Tall Blue Rabbit Brush in the planting hole and backfill with soil. Mulch with compost or pulverized bark and water well.

Watering
Water the Tall Blue Rabbit Brush with at least an inch of water per week. The soil should be fast draining, which keeps the plant dry. Do not allow the soil to become soggy. During the first year, the soil should be kept moist, but after the plant becomes established, if there is a problem with excess standing water, create a French drain to help divert excess water to another part of the garden or yard.

Fertilizing
Fertilize the Tall Blue Rabbit Brush during the spring before new growth. Before the plant becomes established, use phosphorus fertilizer. Once established, use flowering shrub and tree fertilizer. This plant only needs to be fertilized once in the spring. If a soil test shows low or missing nutrients in the soil, fertilize with a nutrient-specific fertilizer instead of an all-around fertilizer. If using organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion, follow the instructions on the package, as different brands may have different ingredients and strengths.

Production
The Tall Blue Rabbit Brush is a low maintenance, evergreen shrub that produces silver to cream colored foliage and showy, yellow flowers.

Harvesting
Cut flowers in the early morning before the dew dries. Use a sharp knife or gardening shears to make an angled cut on the stem. Immediately immerse in cool water. Add a teaspoon of sugar to the vase water to provide nutrients for the cut flowers. Change the water every other day, adding a teaspoon of sugar and making a fresh, angled cut on the stem at each water change.

Diseases
The Tall Blue Rabbit Brush is not susceptible to disease.

Pests
The Tall Blue Rabbit Brush is not susceptible to pests.

Cleanup
Prune the Tall Blue Rabbit Brush during the spring and throughout the growing season for dead and decaying wood and plant matter. Pinch the stem tips to encourage foliage growth. 

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