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
2 ratings

Tuesday - November 03, 2009

From: Nassau Bay, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of American Beautyberry
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

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 seeds, what is the procedure to follow? Can I just put it in the soil as is, will it root this way?

ANSWER:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is most often propagated by seed but can also be propagated by root cuttings or soft wood tip cuttings.  According to How To Grow Native Plants of Texas And The Southwest by Jill Nokes, "American Beauty-berry can be produced by sowing the cleaned seeds lightly in a greenhouse kept just above 40 degrees in November.  They will germinate in January and February, and are ready to plant outside under shade by April... Simple cold stratification for 1 month produced adequate germination for one grower."  Softwood tip cuttings should be taken from "early May through June, just after the first flush of growth but before the plant has flowered."  The cuttings should be 4 to 5 inches long with the leaves from the bottom half removed.  Treat the cuttings with rooting hormone (5,000 ppm) and place gently in your rooting material.  Roots should begin to grow within 1 to 2 weeks.  Hardwood cuttings should be 5 to 8 inches long, treated with rooting hormone (10,000 ppm), and placed under intermittent mist.  While we don't think that putting cuttings directly in the ground will work very well, you may successfully separate large clumps of mature plants in the winter.

We wish you the best of luck with your propagation endeavors!  Callicarpa americana is a beautiful shrub that does well in many different soil types and whose lovely purple berries attract a variety of birds.  It is one of our favorites!


Callicarpa americana

Callicarpa americana

Callicarpa americana

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Compact possumhaw holly for Plano TX
April 19, 2010 - What variety of possumhaw holly would be best planted close to a house? I'm looking for a variety 15-25 feet, as compact as possible. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Practicality of growing bluebonnets in Germany
July 28, 2006 - I am originally from Texas, but I am living in Washington and moving to Germany for the military. I desperately miss bluebonnets and my husband picked up a big bag for me as a present and have no ide...
view the full question and answer

When is it safe to mow wildflowers in Castroville, TX?
May 26, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My yard in Castroville, TX sprouted many wildflowers early in April. By now the Blue Bonnets are seeded and gone. However, I still have a lot of Mexican Blankets. My husba...
view the full question and answer

Propagating mimosa from seed
October 09, 2008 - I have a seed pod from a Mimosa tree. What is the best way to start this beautiful tree from seed. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Properties of Nolina species
November 16, 2010 - I bought two plants that were labeled "Nolina" but one has round leaves and the other has flat leaves with serrations. Are they two different species? Also, can they be divided or is there only on...
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