Beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma)

Young beautyberry

the “before” pic

Oh, Beautyberry, I had such high hopes for you! “Regular” beautyberry plants held the promise of gorgeous clusters of bright berries, but the variety I found offered even more! Wine Spritzer Beautyberry was stunning even without the berries, with its mottled green and cream leaves sprouting from pink stems.

wilting beautyberry

“need… water!”

Then reality hit. Even in almost full shade (zone 8), they wilted almost daily. So if you get them, you must be ready to water them. A lot. Mine froze to the ground in the winter. No big deal, right? They’re good down to -10 or -20 (which should have been a clue that DFW might be too hot for them), so they should come back in the spring.

They did come back in the spring — right into the waiting hungry paws of our neighborhood rabbits. As fast as the beautyberries grew, the rabbits pounded them. In hindsight, I should have put an ugly cage around them until they grew big enough, but I didn’t. And the rabbits killed them. No remorse at all, like the Terminator on Sarah Connor. I guess I’m no Reese.

So, beautyberries in DFW were a bust for me. They might work for you in moist rabbitless shade, of which we have very little in these parts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *