En Espa—ol

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
1 rating

Monday - October 05, 2009

From: Medina, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagating American Beautyberry in Medina OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I brought home a small branch of American beautyberries when I was vacationing in N. Carolina. How do I go about planting them and will they survive in the Cleveland area?

ANSWER:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is considered hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 10. Medina, OH is in Zones 5b to 6a, average annual minimal temperature -15 to -5 deg. F. On that alone, we would not believe it very likely that the shrub, which is native to North Carolina,  would survive in your area. 

However, it won't cost you anything to experiment. Here are the Propagation Instructions for the American Beautyberry:

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Seed, Root cuttings, softwood tip cuttings and to a much lesser extent division of mature clumps

We were unsuccessful in finding any indication if the berry should be planted directly into the soil or dried, cleaned and refrigerated first. So, if you have berries left, we would suggest you just sow them where you think they might grow, just as if they had dropped off a shrub as winter began. You could also sow them in pots with potting soil. Here are their Growing Conditions so you will have a good idea of where is the best place to put the seeds.

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Acid-based, Calcareous 

Since you obviously don't have mature clumps to divide, that only leaves taking cuttings. Whether your branch is still viable, we couldn't say, but you will need to take those cuttings right away, if you want to try that. Here is our favorite website on propagation by cuttings, from North Carolina State University Horticulture Information Leaflet, Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Callicarpa americana

Callicarpa americana

Callicarpa americana

Callicarpa americana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Starting Yarrow (Achillea) and Daucus from Seed
July 16, 2014 - I need to deadhead my cottage yarrow. I assume it has gone to seed. What do I do to plant it as seed? If I can do it, can I do it now or do I need to wait until spring. If I need to wait until spring,...
view the full question and answer

Purchase of Galphimia angustifolia from Austin
June 08, 2014 - I have a Thryallis, Galphimia augustifolia, or Thryallis autustifolia, growing from a limestone ledge in my yard in west Austin TX. I have tried unsuccessfully to buy this native. Do you sell it at t...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Emory Oak acorns
May 08, 2005 - Dear Wildflower Experts, By any chance do you know how we could obtain some Emory Oak acorns to plant on our farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland? I know itís not a given that the trees would grow...
view the full question and answer

Non-berrying possumhaw from Austin
June 05, 2014 - I planted a possumhaw 8 to 10 years ago for the beautiful winter color, it has never set berries. I see tiny white flowers along the branches each spring, and always hope this will be the year, but I...
view the full question and answer

Harvesting seeds on the American basket flower (Centaurea americana)
May 30, 2010 - Where are the seeds on an American basket flower? How do I get them out to propagate them? When can you get them out? Thank you.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center