How to grow callicarpa

How to grow callicarpa

Find out all you need to know about growing callicarpa, in this start-to-finish Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do not Cut back in February

Do Cut back in March

Do not Cut back in April

Do not Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do not Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do not Cut back in October

Do not Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

Known as the beauty berry, Callicarpa comes into its own in autumn, bearing dense clusters of small, jewel-like, purple-blue berries, against bare stems. Its dark green foliage also puts on a good show in autumn, turning golden and red before falling. Callicarpas are medium-sized shrubs and look good in a mixed border, or planted as a specimen near a path or window. The bare stems of purple berries make an excellent addition to autumn flower arrangements.

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How to grow callicarpa

Grow callicarpa in moist but well-drained, neutral to acidic soil in full sun to partial shade. Mulch annually with well-rotted compost or manure and lightly prune in spring.

More on growing callipcarpa:


Where to plant callicarpa

How to grow callicarpa - where to plant callicarpa
How to grow callicarpa – where to plant callicarpa

Grow callicarpa in a prominent position such as near a bench or garden path, ideally where you can see it from the house. Choose moist but well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. Although callicarpas tolerate a little lime in the soil, they will suffer from yellowing foliage in very alkaline conditions, so a neutral to acidic soil is best.


How to plant callicarpa

Dig a generous hole and plant the callicarpa to the same depth it was in its original pot. Water well.


How to propagate callicarpa

Taking hardwood cuttings

Propagate callicarpas by softwood cuttings in summer and semi-ripe cuttings in autumn.


Growing callicarpa: problem solving

Callicarpas are generally pest and disease-free.


Caring for callicarpa

Depending on which variety your choose, you may need to plant a few callicarpas together to ensure cross-pollination and fruiting. Check the planting label for advice. In spring, lightly prune your callicarpa to maintain its shape and size.

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Callicarpa varieties to try

  • Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’  – a variety that fruits well on its own. Large clusters of berries appear in mid autumn, lasting long after the last of the autumn leaves have fallen. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM)
  • Callicarpa japonica ‘Leucocarpa’ – a good choice for year round interest, this variety has pretty pale pink flowers in summer, followed by white berries and good autumn leaf colour
  • Callicarpa japonica var. luxurians – similar to ‘Profusion’, but with larger berries, deeper lavender in colour, and the branches have an arching habit