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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - May 19, 2014

From: Cordele, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Transplanting American beautyberry in Cordele GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is mid to late May too late in the season to transplant Callicarpa americana, American Beautyberry?

ANSWER:

That kind of depends. If you have already purchased the shrub in a pot, or dug it out of the ground to transplant, you need to get it planted quickly, preferably late in the day, with careful attention to the digging of the hole and watering. Mr. Smarty Plants recommends planting woody plants (trees and shrubs) including Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) in cool parts of the year, December and January. At that time of the year, the plant will be at least partially dormant and less susceptible to root damage or insect-borne disases.

If you already have dug up the beautyberry to transplant, or purchased it and it is sitting around waiting for your decision, the time to plant is NOW. As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, American Beautyberry is native to Crisp County GA, so we know that your soils, rainfall and climate are favorable. Please follow this plant link, Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry), to our webpage on this plant and compare the growing conditions to those in your garden, in the area where you wish to grow it. Note on that page particularly:

"Native Habitat: Found in woods, moist thickets, wet slopes, low rich bottomlands, and at the edges of swamps in the Piney Woods, Post Oak Woods, Blackland woodlands, and coastal woodlands. Moist woods; coastal plains; swamp edges, bottomlands."

"Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist"

We consider "part shade" to be two to six hours of sunlight a day.

We mention these characteristics because there is no point in going to all the trouble to transplant any plant any time of the year if you are not going to move it to a place where it can flourish.

Thought to take away: If you haven't purchased or dug the plant yet, wait until late Fall to plant. If you already have those roots exposed, get them in the ground quickly and carefully.

 

From the Image Gallery


American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

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