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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - May 22, 2014

From: Stockport, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Cuttings from beautyberry from Stockport OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My beauty berry is starting a new growth about 2ft from main plant, can I dig this and part of the root without hurting the main part, if so, when?

ANSWER:

From our webpage on Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry):

"Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Seed, Root cuttings, softwood tip cuttings and to a much lesser extent division of mature clumps
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Can be pruned severely right before new growth begins in the spring to control size or refresh an older plant, Prevent complete soil dryness"

From North Carolina State University, here are instructions for Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings

From Virginia Tech Extension Propagation by Cuttings, Layering and Division

As to when to make these moves, we're a little at a loss because this USDA Plant Profile Map shows that Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is native only to southern and southeastern states and is not reported to grow natively in Ohio at all. Usually we recommend that woody plants (trees and shrubs) be divided for propagation during colder parts of the year, when the plant is semi-dormant. In Texas, that would be December and January. Perhaps the articles we have referred you to will have time of year instructions or you could contact the Ohio State Univeristy Extension Office for Morgan County for help with this. 

 

From the Image Gallery


American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

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