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By Jackie Carroll
The attractive foliage of American beautyberry shrubs work well in borders, and you?ll also enjoy growing them as specimen plants. This article has information on their care.
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If you're looking for a dazzling plant to attract birds to your yard, look no further than beautyberry. This Florida native is scientifically known as Callicarpa americana, and its bright purple fruits are some of the most striking around.
Beautyberry, also called American mulberry, is native to flatwoods and hammocks but thanks to birds it has spread near and far.
Remove any dead branches in early spring when the shrub is starting to leaf out. Since weigela blooms on the previous year’s growth, any other pruning and shaping should wait until after spring flowering. Prune back to a healthy set of lateral shoots, which will allow for vigorous growth and flower buds for next season. Dwarf varieties need little, if any pruning. Larger mature specimens benefit from the removal of older branches to rejuvenate the plant. In late winter or early spring, trim out no more than one-third of the oldest branches at the base. This can be repeated every few years.
Weigela grows best in moderately acidic to slightly alkaline soil, with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Soil should be moist and well-draining.
Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer in early spring around the root zone according to package instructions. Mulch with several inches of organic matter to add nutrients, suppress weeds and conserve water.
Once established, weigela need little to no supplemental water, unless the climate is exceptionally hot and dry.
Healthy specimens are virtually free of pests and diseases. Possible insect problems include aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, or scale. Fungal diseases can include powdery mildew, botrytis, twig blight or leaf spot.
Deer will leave weigela alone for the most part, though extreme conditions can result in deer grazing on plants they wouldn’t otherwise.
Use smaller varieties for a low hedge along a walkway or to define a space with a landscape.
Grow viburnum for height in the back of a border.
Plant in containers, along with annuals, and place a pair on either side of an entrance.
Plant varieties known for fragrant blooms near an outdoor seating area so you have a flower-scented place to sit in the spring.
Viburnum can thrive in deep shade, so train them as a tree and use them to naturalize a woodland edge or to create an understory in your yard.
Use as a foundation planting.
Use in a butterfly or wildlife garden since winged creatures dine on their flowers and fruit.