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Beauty Berry

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Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 2:00am

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Beauty Berry is a native shrub with berries that put on a fall show today on Southern Gardening

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Known botanically as Callicarpa Americana, beauty berry is a native found on the edges of woodlands and is quite at home on the landscape. The leaves will turn a deep rich purple in the landscape, but the berries are the real show. The berries are typically a bright, shiny purple, arranged in clusters at the leaf nodes all along the arching stems. But there is a white berry form called Alba.

One of my favorites is the pink berry Welch’s pink. In my garden, these are almost fluorescent pink. The plants will grow to four feet tall and wide. In north Mississippi, this plant may die back to the ground in severe winters.

Beauty berry has a loose and open habit. Prune the plant back in early spring to about six inches to create a fuller, more compact plant. A grouping of two or three will create a cluster and cross pollinate and help ensure the fullest fruit production.

Beauty berry will tolerate dry soil conditions and part shade, but the healthiest plants and best fruit presentation will be in the full sun. Be sure to maintain consistent soil moisture. A good use for beauty berry us to tuck it behind summer blooming plants. It will add a soft background during the summer months and dazzle in the fall with the metallic berries.

Beauty berry will certainly add up to its name and add beauty to any fall garden.

This is Gary Bachman with Southern Gardening.

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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