Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - August 21, 2014

From: North Pownal, VT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Planting, Pruning, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Transplanting and Pruning Callicarpa
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I saw the previous question about Callicarpa from the guy in Texas and I have two questions based on the response. In SW Vermont, is late fall still the best time to transplant my Callicarpas? Also, it says to cut them back to 12". Should I do this 12" cut to shrubs that are easily 6' tall?

ANSWER:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is a great shrub for a shady, woodland garden. The tall, graceful, arching branches do often reach 5 or 6 feet in height and width.  But the most striking feature is the iridescent purple fruit that ripen on the branches in the fall and often stay into the winter until several hard frosts turn them brown.

You can treat this shrub either by pruning it to 12 inches from the soil in early spring (before new growth starts in your part of Vermont) or by leaving it unpruned if you have room for a tall, woody shrub.  If you prune it back to 12 inches each spring, you will encourage it to be a denser and shorter plant.

Late fall is too late for transplanting your Callicarpa in Vermont. Early fall is a better time so that the plant has time to get established while the soil is still warm.  The second best time to transplant is first thing in the spring as soon as the soil has dried a bit.

 

From the Image Gallery


American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

More Planting Questions

Stress in potted Tif blueberry plants
August 15, 2008 - Recently purchased Tif Blue Blueberry plants (about 3 ft tall)are showing signs of stress. They are in 10 gallon pots. Should they be transplanted? Medium? Fertilizer? Location? Trimming?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Philadelphus Innocence mock orange from Paris TX
June 20, 2012 - What is the best place in the garden to grow Philadelphus Innocence mock orange in Paris, Tx? Also, how long after transplanting do flowers occur? Any tips appreciated
view the full question and answer

Brown leaves on possumhaw holly in Grandview TX
July 02, 2009 - What would be likely causes for brown leaves on possumhaw holly? We have 2, one was planted in spring 2008, and a slightly larger one planted late winter/early spring this year. Most of the leaves a...
view the full question and answer

Putting in native grass in June in Manor TX
May 31, 2012 - We are moving into a new-built house in the middle of June. We opted to not have them put in Bermuda grass as we wanted to seed a native mix. From my understanding, mid June will be too late to start ...
view the full question and answer

Late planting plum tree from Lago Vista, TX
May 01, 2014 - I have two plum trees in plastic containers that I purchased in March. For a lot of reasons, we didn't get them planted. I have kept them alive by watering consistently, but I am now wondering what...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.