En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 02, 2014

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Watering, Shrubs
Title: Problem with American Beautyberry in Houston.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My American Beautyberry is dying one branch at a time. The entire plant looks great, now flowering and starting to put out berries. Then one or two branches will completely die. Trim those off, will be fine for a couple of days, then, dead branch. Planted in April in Houston, full sun. Watered about 4-5 days a week for 1st couple months. Now watering three days a week. Allowed to dry between watering. Read online that cucumber mosaic virus has really been hitting beauty berries. Hope that's not it. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

You say that your plant looks fine. I’ve included a link from University of Florida Extension  containing an article  with images about American Beautyberry plants with Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV) . As you can see, those plants don’t look fine. This may eliminate CMV as the cause of your problem. You might want to follow up with your Harris County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension who can help you diagnose CMV.

GIven the fact that the plant was planted in April,  Mr. Smarty Plants is going to guess that your plant may be suffering from transplant shock. These two links to Northscping.com#1, and #2  describe the condition and give tips for remedying the problem.

Check out the plant profile for American Beautyberry Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)  and scroll down to Growing Conditions. It tells us that the light requirement is partial shade. Too much sunlight may be part of the problem.  Going forward under soil moisture, we see that although it requires moist soil, watering 4-5 times a week seems a bit much. Cut back to two times a week and see what happens. These watering tips from Oregon State University may prove halpful.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Redbud leaves turning yellow in mid-summer
July 13, 2012 - The leaves on our redbud trees are turning yellow. The yellow leaves are pale with no other spots and no dark veins. I don't know for sure which variety of redbud they are or how old they are (more t...
view the full question and answer

Bark of unidentified tree splitting in Merritt Island FL
August 10, 2010 - The bark on this 5 yr. old tree is splitting along its branches, like a sausage link splitting along its sides. Almost as if it is/was over-stuffed. Other than that, there are plenty of leaflets, some...
view the full question and answer

Shasta Daisies without Petals
August 21, 2014 - My shasta daisies do not have the white petals, only the yellow center is in bloom. There are no visible signs of insects. They get a good amount of sun - about 5 hours per day. What could be the prob...
view the full question and answer

Laurel oak tree not leafing out in Pasadena TX
April 13, 2010 - Hurricane Ike blew down our red bud in the backyard. Had a large 25' laurel oak planted early March 2010. When it was put in the ground, the leaves were on it, but they were all brown and dried. T...
view the full question and answer

Changing colors on Mexican Plum trees from Bellaire TX
June 20, 2013 - The leaves on my Mexican Plum tree have recently started turning yellow/brown and the veins in leaves are red. Is this a watering issue or disease issue? Mites are on the leaves. This has been a ra...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center