Plants of the Week: Pearl Glam and Purple Pearls Callicarpa


Crisp days, apple picking, maybe a little discreet Oktoberfesting - fall is wonderful. The plants of autumn are fabulous, too. I like flowers as much as the next person, but vibrant fall foliage colors and richly colored autumnal berries really appeal to me.

Some plants, like Callicarpa (beautyberry), are at their best in fall. It's unfortunate that they can be overlooked earlier in the season when people are seduced by the flashy colors of spring. Smart gardeners who have planned for four seasons know to plant some fall features in their landscapes.

Pearl Glam beautyberry from Proven Winners ColorChoice
White flowers give way to bring purple berries on Pearl Glam® beautyberry.

While older varieties didn't do much in the landscape until fall, Pearl Glam® and Purple Pearls® beautyberries have interesting purple foliage during the growing season. They both have spectacular berry set, and nicer habits than older varieties for a better container display at retail. Purple Pearls® has distinctive pink flowers, too.

While Callicarpa isn't very fussy as far as soil goes, you will want to put them in full sun for the best berry production. Pearl Glam® and Purple Pearls® will have better foliage color in full sun, too. Both are hardy to USDA Zone 5, and will grow 4-5' tall and wide.

Purple Pearls beautyberry from Proven Winners ColorChoice
The purple fruit of Purple Pearls® beautyberry are a great addition to fall flower arrangements.

Callicarpa is a wonderful addition to gardens and commercial landscapes. It's a pretty adaptable plant, and has good deer-resistance. Whether used as a specimen plant or a hedge, it's a lovely plant for gardens. Those berries are nice in cut arrangements, too.

Pearl Glam beautyberry from Proven Winners ColorChoice
Pearl Glam® beautyberry grows 4-5' tall.

When the rest of the world is glowing in oranges and reds, isn't it fun to have a plant that is rocking purple? Birds will eventually get around to eating the berries, but it isn't one of their favorites so you should be able to enjoy the display for a while.

Finally, please check out this great video from Garden Answer. Laura really shows what a great plant Callicarpa is.


Plant of the Week is written by Jane Beggs-Joles

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