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Mr. Smarty Plants - Propagation of American Beautyberry

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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

 

 

 

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