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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.


Plant of the Week!

This week's plant has some very nice fruits in my landscape right now, the Purple Beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma).

Beautyberry shrubs produce lovely clusters of bright, glossy, violet to purple fruits that put on their best show in October. Small, pink to white flowers bloom in June, though aren't nearly as showy as the fruits.

According to Missouri Botanic Garden, this species of beautyberry is a small, rounded, deciduous shrub which typically grows 2-4' tall. Purple beautyberry in particular is hardy to zones 5-8, so many years this shrub may die back to the ground and regrow from the roots each year. If the shrub doesn't die back to the ground, then you may prefer to prune stems back to 6" in late winter to early spring each year. This will help promote a more compact plant and promote better flowering.

This low maintenance shrub is a great addition to the landscape. With few pest or disease problems, the only real maintenance is to prune the shrub to the ground each year. It's easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

There are various other beautyberry shrubs available, like the Japanese beautyberry (Callicarpa japonica) which is larger at 4-6' in height. The American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is also a native beautyberry that grows 3-8' in height and is slightly less cold hardy. All are known for the beautiful purple berries!

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