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American Beautyberry

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Once a weekFull sunDeer resistantSpring to summer
  • Striking Purple Berries: Produces clusters of vivid purple berries in the fall that last well into the winter.
  • Attracts Wildlife: The berries are a food source for birds and other wildlife, enhancing biodiversity in the garden.
  • Drought-Tolerant and Adaptable: Thrives in a variety of soil conditions and is drought-tolerant once established, making it a resilient choice for different landscapes.

More Details

The American Beautyberry, scientifically known as Callicarpa americana, is a captivating deciduous shrub known for its vibrant and eye-catching purple berries. This native plant brings a burst of color to gardens and landscapes in the fall when the clusters of bright berries adorn its branches. It's a fantastic choice for gardeners seeking to add a touch of vivid natural beauty to their outdoor spaces. With its ease of care and ability to thrive in a range of climates, the American Beautyberry is a stunning addition, offering both ornamental appeal and a food source for wildlife.

Growth rate: Moderate growth rate; mature height of 3-5 feet and width of 3-5 feet.

Please note: Images on our website depict plants and trees at full maturity to showcase their expected grown characteristics. These images are illustrative examples only and do not represent the size of plants or trees upon delivery.

Pruning: Prune in late winter or early spring to encourage new growth and more prolific berry production. Cutting back to 12-18 inches tall can result in a denser shrub with more berries.

Fertilization: Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer in the early spring.

Winter Protection: In cooler climates, mulch around the base to protect roots from extreme cold.

Choose a spot with full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and of the same depth. Place the shrub in the hole, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly. Space multiple plants 3-5 feet apart to allow for growth.

American Beautyberry requires regular watering, particularly in its first growing season, and thrives in full sun to partial shade. Adequate sunlight is important for berry production, while well-drained soil promotes healthy growth.

We process and ship your order as quickly as possible, typically within 1-3 business days. You will receive a shipping confirmation with tracking information once your item(s) ship.

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

Please allow additional ship times during inclement weather and sale periods. We do not process or ship orders on the weekend or U.S. Holidays. Simply Trees is not responsible for delays due to carriers, local disruptions, or weather.

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At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.


Zones 6-10

American Beautyberry is suited for USDA Zones 6-10. It is adaptable to a range of environmental conditions, from full sun to partial shade, and is tolerant of different soil types, though it prefers well-drained soil. This plant is resilient against heat and periods of drought, making it a versatile shrub for various garden settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

American Beautyberry is a deciduous shrub known for its graceful arching branches and striking clusters of bright purple to magenta berries. Its size at maturity can vary depending on local growing conditions, but here are the typical dimensions for American Beautyberry:

Height: American Beautyberry typically reaches a height of 3 to 5 feet when mature. In some cases, it may grow slightly taller under optimal conditions, while it may remain shorter in less favorable conditions.

Width: The shrub's width or spread generally matches its height, ranging from 3 to 5 feet. Some plants may have a slightly wider or more compact growth habit depending on factors like pruning and local conditions.

Shape: American Beautyberry has an open and arching growth habit, forming a loose and graceful mound. Its branches are typically thin and may arch outward, giving the shrub an airy appearance.

These dimensions make American Beautyberry a relatively compact and manageable shrub that is well-suited to gardens and landscapes of various sizes. Its vibrant berries, which form in clusters along the stems, provide visual interest in the late summer and fall, making it a popular choice for adding color and wildlife value to outdoor spaces.

Keep in mind that proper spacing and pruning can help maintain the desired size and shape of American Beautyberry within your landscape. Additionally, the shrub may take several years to reach its full mature size, so patience is often required when cultivating this native species.

American Beautyberry is known for its relatively moderate growth rate. While the exact growth rate can vary depending on environmental conditions and care, here's a general idea of how fast American Beautyberry typically grows:

First Year: In its first year after planting, American Beautyberry may establish its root system and produce some new growth, but it generally remains relatively small and doesn't achieve its full height and width.

Subsequent Years: During the second and subsequent years, American Beautyberry can experience more noticeable growth. It may put on several inches of new growth per year in terms of height and width. However, it's still considered a relatively slow-growing shrub compared to some other landscape plants.

Mature Size: American Beautyberry typically reaches its mature height and width of 3 to 5 feet after several years of growth. Achieving its full size can take three to five years or longer, depending on local conditions and care.

Factors Affecting Growth Rate:

Sunlight: American Beautyberry grows more vigorously in full to partial sun. Adequate sunlight encourages robust growth and berry production.

Soil Quality: Well-draining, fertile soil with good organic matter content can promote healthier growth.

Watering: Adequate and consistent watering, especially during dry periods, supports growth. However, avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.

Pruning: Pruning can help shape the shrub and encourage new growth. Prune during the dormant season (late winter or early spring) to promote bushier growth.

It's important to note that American Beautyberry is primarily grown for its attractive foliage and vibrant berries, which develop on the previous year's growth. Therefore, it's not typically prized for rapid growth but rather for its ornamental and ecological value.

While American Beautyberry may not be the fastest-growing shrub in your landscape, its striking berries and graceful arching branches make it a valuable addition to gardens, naturalized areas, and wildlife-friendly landscapes. With patience and proper care, it will achieve its mature size and become a beautiful feature in your outdoor space.

When planting American Beautyberry, spacing considerations are essential to ensure that the shrubs have adequate room to grow and develop a healthy and attractive appearance. Here are some guidelines for spacing American Beautyberry plants:

Single Plant: If you are planting a single American Beautyberry shrub, provide a space that allows for its mature size, which is typically 3 to 5 feet in height and width. A spacing of approximately 3 to 5 feet between the shrub and nearby plants or structures should be sufficient.

Multiple Plants: When planting multiple American Beautyberry shrubs, space them at least 3 to 5 feet apart from center to center. This spacing ensures that each shrub has room to grow, maintain its shape, and receive adequate sunlight and air circulation.

Hedge or Border: If you intend to create a hedge or border using American Beautyberry, plant the shrubs with a spacing of 3 to 5 feet between individual plants. Adjust the spacing depending on how dense or formal you want the hedge to be.

Group Plantings: In naturalized or informal garden settings, you can group American Beautyberry plants for a more natural appearance. Allow enough space between groups to appreciate the beauty of the shrubs and provide access for maintenance.

Wildlife Gardens: For wildlife gardens or areas where you want to attract birds with the berries, consider planting American Beautyberry in clusters or near bird feeders. This can create a visually appealing focal point and provide easy access for birds to feed.

Consider Mature Size: Keep in mind that American Beautyberry will reach its mature size over time. Provide adequate spacing based on the expected width of the shrubs to prevent overcrowding as they grow.

Spacing American Beautyberry appropriately allows each shrub to receive sufficient sunlight, which is crucial for berry production and overall health. It also enables proper air circulation, reducing the risk of disease and promoting healthy growth. By following these spacing guidelines, you can create an aesthetically pleasing and well-maintained landscape with American Beautyberry shrubs.

American Beautyberry produces clusters of bright purple to magenta berries in the fall, which are ornamental and provide food for wildlife. While the berries of American Beautyberry are not typically consumed by humans, they are not considered toxic. Here are some considerations regarding the edibility of American Beautyberry berries:

Taste: American Beautyberry berries have a somewhat astringent and bitter taste, which is generally unpalatable to most people when eaten raw. The flavor can vary slightly depending on the specific plant and growing conditions.

Historical Use: In some Native American cultures and historically, American Beautyberry berries have been used as a food source during times of scarcity or as a survival food. They were typically cooked or processed to improve their taste and reduce bitterness.

Potential Culinary Uses: While not commonly used as a primary food source today, there have been efforts to incorporate American Beautyberry berries into culinary applications. Some people have used them to make jellies, jams, or sauces after cooking and sweetening them. Keep in mind that this may require significant processing to make the berries more palatable.

Caution: If you decide to experiment with American Beautyberry berries in culinary endeavors, it's essential to be cautious and properly prepare them to reduce bitterness and astringency. Cooking, mashing, and adding sweeteners can help improve their taste.

Wildlife Attraction: American Beautyberry is valued for its berries as a wildlife food source. Birds, especially species like robins, cardinals, and cedar waxwings, are known to feed on the berries. Additionally, the plant's leaves and stems may provide browse for deer and other wildlife.

It's important to note that while American Beautyberry berries are not toxic, they are not typically considered a primary edible for humans due to their taste and bitterness. If you decide to experiment with using these berries in culinary applications, make sure to identify the plant accurately and be aware of any potential allergies or sensitivities. As with any wild edible, it's essential to gather plants from clean, uncontaminated sources and exercise caution when trying new foods.

American Beautyberry is a versatile and attractive native shrub that can thrive in a variety of garden and landscape settings. When choosing a location to plant American Beautyberry, consider the following factors to ensure its optimal growth and aesthetic appeal:

Sunlight: American Beautyberry performs best in areas with full to partial sun. It prefers at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. While it can tolerate some shade, it may produce fewer berries and have a looser growth habit in shadier conditions.

Soil: Plant American Beautyberry in well-draining soil. It is adaptable to different soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clayey soils. Ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogged roots.

Moisture: Once established, American Beautyberry is relatively drought-tolerant. However, it benefits from regular watering during dry spells, especially in the early stages of growth. Deep watering when the soil becomes dry to the touch is recommended.

Space: American Beautyberry typically grows to a height and width of 3 to 5 feet. When planning your planting location, provide adequate space between shrubs to accommodate their mature size and allow for good air circulation.

Companion Plants: Consider planting American Beautyberry alongside other native shrubs, perennials, or wildflowers to create a diverse and visually appealing landscape that supports local wildlife. It can also complement other native plants in a butterfly or wildlife garden.

Wildlife Attraction: American Beautyberry's berries are a valuable food source for birds and wildlife. Plant it near bird feeders, bird baths, or in areas where you want to attract wildlife.

Maintenance: Choose a location that allows for easy access for maintenance tasks such as pruning, deadheading, or removing fallen leaves.

Naturalized Areas: American Beautyberry can be planted along the edges of wooded areas, in naturalized or informal garden settings, or as part of a native plant garden. Its graceful arching branches and colorful berries make it a striking addition to these environments.

Winter Interest: The shrub's berries provide winter interest, so consider planting American Beautyberry where you can enjoy its beauty during the colder months.

Local Adaptation: Consult with local gardening or conservation organizations to select native plant varieties or cultivars of American Beautyberry that are well-suited to your specific region and climate.

By taking these factors into account, you can create an ideal planting location for American Beautyberry, which not only enhances your landscape but also provides habitat and food for local wildlife, making it a valuable addition to your garden.

American Beautyberry is not considered invasive in most regions of its native range, which includes the southeastern United States. In its native habitat, American Beautyberry plays a valuable role in the ecosystem, providing food for wildlife and supporting biodiversity.

However, there are some factors to consider:

Native Range: American Beautyberry is native to the southeastern United States, where it is an integral part of the local ecosystem and does not typically exhibit invasive tendencies.

Naturalized Populations: In some cases, American Beautyberry may become naturalized outside its native range, but this does not necessarily mean it is invasive. Naturalized populations can establish themselves in areas with suitable environmental conditions but do not typically cause harm to local ecosystems.

Cultivated Varieties: Some cultivated varieties or hybrids of American Beautyberry may have different growth characteristics. It's important to choose native species or cultivars that are well-suited to your region to minimize the risk of unintended invasiveness.

Local Regulations: While American Beautyberry is generally not considered invasive, it's essential to check with local authorities or conservation organizations to confirm whether it is appropriate to plant in your area. Local regulations and recommendations can vary depending on the specific ecological conditions and potential impacts on native ecosystems.

Responsible Planting: When planting American Beautyberry, ensure that it does not escape into natural areas or disrupt local ecosystems. Regular maintenance and monitoring can help prevent unintended spread.

In summary, American Beautyberry is not typically considered invasive within its native range. However, when planting it outside its native range, especially in areas with different ecological conditions, it's important to be responsible and choose native species or cultivars that are well-suited to the local environment. Additionally, follow any local guidelines or recommendations to ensure responsible landscaping practices.

American Beautyberry is often claimed to have mosquito-repelling properties, particularly due to the presence of compounds called callicarpenal and intermedeol in its leaves. These compounds are thought to emit a scent that may deter mosquitoes and other insects.

While some people have reported anecdotal success in using crushed American Beautyberry leaves or branches as a natural mosquito repellent, scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes is limited. Additionally, the effectiveness of any natural repellent can vary based on various factors, including the specific mosquito species in the area, the concentration of active compounds, and individual preferences.

If you are interested in using American Beautyberry as a potential mosquito repellent, here are some steps to consider:

Crush Leaves: Crush a few American Beautyberry leaves or branches and rub them on your skin or clothing. Some people find the scent to be mildly effective in deterring mosquitoes.

Create a Repellent Spray: You can make a homemade repellent spray by steeping crushed leaves in water, straining the mixture, and using it as a spray. Alternatively, you can mix the crushed leaves with a carrier oil like coconut oil or witch hazel to create a topical repellent.

Test for Sensitivity: Before applying any natural repellent to your skin, it's essential to test a small area for sensitivity to ensure you don't have an adverse reaction.

Reapply as Needed: Natural repellents tend to have shorter-lasting effects than commercial mosquito repellents. You may need to reapply the crushed leaves or spray more frequently to maintain their effectiveness.

It's worth noting that while American Beautyberry may offer some mosquito-repelling properties, it may not be as effective as commercial mosquito repellents containing ingredients like DEET or picaridin. In areas with a high mosquito population or a risk of mosquito-borne diseases, using a proven mosquito repellent recommended by health authorities is generally advisable for more reliable protection.

Additionally, to reduce mosquito breeding sites in your yard, consider eliminating standing water, which can attract mosquitoes for breeding, and using other mosquito control measures, such as mosquito nets, screens, or citronella candles, to complement your repellent efforts.

American Beautyberry is primarily grown as a shrub in the garden or landscape, but it is possible to grow it in a container under the right conditions. Here are some important considerations if you want to cultivate American Beautyberry in a container:

Container Size: Choose a large container with sufficient space for the shrub's root system to grow. A container with a diameter of at least 24 inches or more is recommended. A deeper pot allows for better root development.

Drainage: Ensure the container has excellent drainage by using a pot with drainage holes. Proper drainage is crucial to prevent waterlogged soil, which can harm the plant's roots.

Potting Mix: Use a well-draining, high-quality potting mix suitable for woody shrubs or trees. You can also mix in some perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage.

Location: Place the container in a location that receives full sun to partial sun. American Beautyberry requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily to thrive and produce its vibrant berries.

Watering: Container-grown plants may require more frequent watering than those in the ground. Check the soil moisture regularly and water when the top inch or two (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of soil feels dry. Be cautious not to overwater, as excess moisture can lead to root rot.

Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for woody plants in the spring. Follow the recommended application rates on the fertilizer label. Avoid over-fertilization, which can lead to excessive growth.

Pruning: Prune American Beautyberry as needed to maintain its size and shape. Container plants may not grow as large as those in the ground, but occasional pruning can help control their growth.

Winter Protection: In regions with freezing winters, container-grown American Beautyberry may require winter protection. Move the container to a sheltered location or provide insulation around the pot to prevent cold damage.

Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch on top of the potting mix to help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Mulch also adds an attractive finishing touch.

Pest and Disease Management: Monitor the plant for common garden pests and diseases, such as aphids or scale insects. Treat any issues promptly to prevent them from spreading.

Repotting: Every few years, consider repotting the American Beautyberry to refresh the potting mix and provide more room for root growth.

Growing American Beautyberry in a container allows you to enjoy its beautiful foliage and berries even in limited garden space or challenging soil conditions. With proper care and attention to the plant's needs, it can thrive in a container setting.

Pruning American Beautyberry is relatively simple and primarily involves maintenance to control its shape and size, encourage new growth, and remove dead or damaged branches. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to prune American Beautyberry effectively:

Timing: The best time to prune American Beautyberry is during late winter or early spring while the plant is dormant, before new growth begins. This allows the shrub to allocate its energy to the development of new branches and berries in the growing season.

Tools: Use clean, sharp pruning shears or loppers appropriate for the size of the branches you are trimming. Sterilize your pruning tools with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution before and after use to prevent the spread of diseases.

Assessment: Begin by assessing the shrub's overall health and shape. Identify any dead, damaged, or diseased branches that need removal. Also, consider the desired size and shape you want to maintain or achieve.

Remove Dead or Diseased Wood: Start by cutting back any dead or diseased branches at their base or junction with healthy wood. Make clean, angled cuts to minimize damage. Dispose of the pruned material away from the garden to prevent the spread of diseases.

Thinning: To improve air circulation and light penetration into the center of the shrub, selectively thin out some of the older branches or crowded growth. This encourages new growth and healthier berries.

Size Control: If your American Beautyberry has become too large or unruly for its space, you can reduce its size by cutting back some of the longer branches. Make cuts just above a healthy bud or lateral branch junction. Avoid heavy pruning, as it can stress the plant.

Shaping: To maintain a specific shape or promote a bushier appearance, you can lightly shape the shrub by trimming the tips of branches. Make cuts just above a bud or lateral branch junction to encourage branching and bushiness.

Minimal Pruning: Keep in mind that American Beautyberry naturally has a graceful, arching form, and its berries develop on the previous year's growth. Avoid extensive pruning that removes too much of the plant's structure, as this may reduce the number of berries produced.

Clean-Up: After pruning, remove all pruned material from the area to prevent disease and pests from lingering near the shrub.

Watering and Mulching: After pruning, provide adequate water and mulch around the base of the shrub to help retain moisture and support new growth.

Remember that American Beautyberry benefits from minimal pruning, and it is primarily done for maintenance and shaping purposes. Over-pruning can reduce berry production, as the plant produces berries on the previous year's growth. By following these guidelines, you can keep your American Beautyberry healthy and attractive while preserving its natural form.

American Beautyberry is a deciduous shrub known for its vibrant purple berries in the fall. If you notice your American Beautyberry turning brown, several factors could be contributing to this issue. Here are some common reasons and solutions:

Watering Issues: Over- or under-watering can stress the plant and lead to browning leaves or berries. Ensure that the shrub receives consistent moisture but does not sit in waterlogged soil. During dry periods, provide deep, thorough watering.

Solution: Adjust your watering schedule to maintain even moisture levels. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain soil moisture.

Drought Stress: Extended periods of drought can cause American Beautyberry to shed leaves and berries as a survival mechanism. This is a natural response to conserve water.

Solution: Water the shrub deeply during dry spells, and consider installing a drip irrigation system to provide consistent moisture.

Pests and Diseases: Insect pests or diseases can affect the health of American Beautyberry and lead to browning leaves or berries. Common pests include aphids, scale insects, and fungal diseases.

Solution: Inspect the plant for signs of pests or diseases. If present, treat with appropriate insecticides or fungicides according to the instructions on the product label.

Environmental Stress: Environmental factors like extreme heat, strong winds, or poor soil quality can stress the plant and cause browning.

Solution: Provide some shade during extremely hot weather and improve the soil by amending it with organic matter to enhance its quality and drainage.

Pruning: Pruning at the wrong time or too aggressively can remove new growth and lead to browning leaves or berries.

Solution: Prune American Beautyberry during the dormant season (late winter or early spring) before new growth begins. Avoid heavy pruning during the growing season.

Natural Leaf Drop: American Beautyberry is a deciduous shrub, meaning it naturally drops its leaves in the fall. This is part of its seasonal cycle, and it is not a cause for concern.

Solution: If the browning occurs in the fall, it is likely a normal part of the plant's lifecycle. New growth will emerge in the following spring.

Nutrient Deficiencies: Inadequate nutrients, especially nitrogen, can lead to browning leaves and reduced berry production.

Solution: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth.

Excessive Fertilization: Over-fertilization with high-nitrogen fertilizers can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of berries and may result in browning leaves.

Solution: Use a balanced fertilizer and follow recommended application rates.

Inspect your American Beautyberry closely to identify the specific cause of the browning leaves or berries. Address the issue accordingly, and with proper care, your shrub should recover and continue to thrive, producing its attractive purple berries in the fall.

Our Process

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!