Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion'

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

Callicarpa is also known as the beauty berry. It’s a shrub that comes into its own in the autumn months, with a striking crop of small, jewel-like, purple-blue berries that appear in dense clusters. These look stunning on the bare stems of deciduous varieties. However, the dark green foliage also puts on a good show in autumn, turning golden and red. Callicarpas are medium-sized shrubs and look good in a mixed border, or planted as a specimen near a path or window.

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Take a look at our handy callicarpa Grow Guide, below.

Related content:
Shrubs that look good in a border


Planting position

Grow callicarpa in 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.

Callicarpa growing in a pot
Callicarpa growing in a pot

Planting callicarpa

Dig a generous hole, add some well-rotted manure and water in well.

How to plant a callicarpa video


Propagating callicarpa

Callicarpas are usually propagated by softwood cuttings in summer and semi-ripe cuttings in autumn.

Taking hardwood cuttings

Callicarpa: problem solving

Callicarpas are generally pest and disease-free.


Maintaining callicarpa

Depending on which variety your choose, you may need to plant a few callicarpas together to ensure cross-pollination and fruiting. A little light pruning to maintain shape and size can be carried out in spring. Or cut autumn stems with berries for indoor flower arrangements.

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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