En Español

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

How to propagate Scarlet leatherflower (Clematis texensis)
May 25, 2015 - How do you collect seeds for the scarlet leatherflower? I saw your answer on how to grow from seeds but I'm not sure how to collect the seeds. Also is it possible to grow the scarlet leatherflower...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Mexican buckeye from seeds in San Antonio
October 02, 2009 - I recently collected seeds from a Mexican buckeye. Is it best to plant them now or wait until spring? Do they need to be scarified?
view the full question and answer

Removing competition of mustang grapes from live oaks
January 26, 2006 - We have several native mustang grape vines on our rural property that seem to be taking over the live oaks on which they are becoming entwined. Is it advisable to remove them or are they harmless? And...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of American Beautyberry
November 03, 2009 - Hello. I would love to know how to propagate the American Beauty (Texas Location) as I think it is most gorgeous. We lost most of our shrubs/plants in Ike and are replacing them. If I do these from ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Crossvine from San Antonio
September 03, 2011 - I have a new Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) that has a single seedpod so far. What is the best way to plant it for the best chances for success? It is still green and a very hot August. Do I plant ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center