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
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 Venus Flytrap From Seed
September 05, 2013 - I am a high school student doing a project on the Venus flytrap and would like you to help me by answering the following questions: What are the Venus flytrap predators and prey? How to raise a Venus ...
view the full question and answer

Deadheading Asclepias tuberosa in Fishers IN
August 19, 2009 - My Asclepias tuberosa plants are flowering well in their second year and also have formed many seed pods. Since I don't need the seeds, will they bloom more if I remove them or is it unnecessary?
view the full question and answer

Plants for church gardens in Ft. Worth TX
November 07, 2013 - Second attempt. Our church has many gardens in Fort Worth, TX. There are gardens for blue,red,yellow,white,purple,orange,pink,mixed,community garden,roses, and more. I am interested in the la...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Mountain Laurel by seed
March 28, 2007 - I harvested the seed or nut from our Mountain Laurel this spring and I would like to propagate them in containers for at least a year and then transfer them to the ground. I live in Hays County, TX in...
view the full question and answer

How to protect Columbine plants from Texas sun
May 12, 2015 - I planted some Red columbine seeds in October of last year and they are now doing well, roughly 6-inches tall. I believed I was planting them in mostly shade at the time; that area now seems to get 6+...
view the full question and answer

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