Monday, December 03, 2007

Japanese Beautyberry

The first picture shows what the Japanese Beautyberry is known for: its distinctive purple berries that appear in autumn and persist into the winter.

The second picture shows what the plant looks like in the summer, on the lower left, beneath the Pee Gee hydrangea.

I like these two stages of the plant, but am less fond of its other stages: the early spring when it looks dead and is late to leaf out; and the autumn when the leaves droop and look lifeless for about a month before they fall off.

They are healthy and vigorous plants. I purchased very small plants and they grew quickly in the first year. Next year, I am cutting them back to six inches off the ground in early spring to avoid the first problem. Further, I keep moving them around my property in hopes of finding the perfect place to enjoy them, and they are not bothered by this.

For fall and winter arrangements, you can cut the branches with the Beautyberries. If you do so when they still have leaves, I recommend that you remove the leaves because they droop immediately after being cut.

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Click here for a follow-up post on propogation: http://heirloomgardener.blogspot.com/2008/02/japanese-beatyberry-unexpected.html

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