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 Watering Questions

Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
September 20, 2008 - Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
view the full question and answer

Shriveling agave from Miami Florida
August 23, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Most upset - My beautiful agave (wish I could have submitted an image) has stared to misbehave. The once first liquid filled leaves, are starting to look more like the skin ...
view the full question and answer

Watering Houseplants with Soapy Water
August 22, 2011 - I accidentally watered my house plants with a container that had a some dishsoap in it. Will they be okay? One of the plants is a 20yr old cactus, with small roots.
view the full question and answer

Withering plants recover with water
February 17, 2008 - Why do withering plants stand up when you give them water?
view the full question and answer

Wind and erosion tolerant plants from Austin
August 05, 2013 - I recently cleared a fire break by removing cedar from around my home in West Austin. I'd like to plant the exposed NW facing slope with native shrubs and trees. Looking for selections that can wit...
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