Has my Bluebeard died?

(Question)

Bought a bluebeard shrub at plant sale 2013 and performed well last fall. So far this year, I see only old twigs. Does this shrub break out later or have I lost this specimen?

(Answer)

 

Caryopteris x clandonensis also known as bluebeard, blue spirea or blue mist, is a low-mounded deciduous shrub that is valued for its aromatic foliage and late summer flowers which are said to resemble clouds of blue smoke or mist. They are slow to leaf out in the spring, so don’t panic if yours looks like a dead twig.  Patience may be needed!

Bluebeard are grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun and prefer loose loam. They will tolerate some drought, but are intolerant of wet, poorly-drained soils. It is recommended to prune stems back hard each year in early spring. Stems will often die to the ground in the cold winters of Zones 5 and 6, with roots surviving to push up new stems in spring. Even in warm winter climates where the stems usually survive winter, it is recommended for gardeners to still prune the plants back hard in early spring to promote vigorous new stem growth. Flowering is unaffected by spring pruning because plants bloom on new growth.

For more information on spring pruning of caryopteris, see this website:  https://www.michigangardener.com/how-to-prune-caryopteris/

You can find more information about the plant here: https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b900