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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

watch out for beautyberry!

I have a beautyberry shrub I planted in front of our living room window maybe 7 or so years ago. Catalog I bought it from said it got 4' tall and wide. Well despite having been cut back every year after the first couple, the thing is now up to the first floor roof, at least 12' and probably 10' wide. It grew at least 6' higher from where I cut it off last fall. I'm going to cut it back again this fall, but probably try to dig it out in the spring and get rid of it. It is just totally outgrowing the space I put it in.

I'll try to find something a bit more disciplined to go there!

I looked now about how big they get. Depends on the species and I'm not sure about mine, but it is a purple beauty berry. I've seen anywhere from 2-4' tall, to 6-8'. But no where did I see anything that warned me this thing could turn into a monster!
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Green Thumb
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:17 pm
Location: Western MA

I had a similar problem, but not quite as extreme...It was getting to about 9' and blocking a window. I have, the past few years, started treating it more like an herbacious perennial, cutting it back to 10 to 12 inches in late winter. As it blooms only on new wood, it doesn't effect the blssoms and berries, but keeps the height in check a bit. Right now it's just hitting 6' x 6', covered in berries which should start turning purple any day now. I, too, thought about getting rid of it, but it's really pretty in the fall when the leaves turn yellow and the berries are purple. (I've also seen a few birds picking at it when there's nothing better in the height of winter)

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: North Carolina

Don't beleive everything you read. From

Mature Height/Spread
American beautyberry and Japanese beautyberry grow 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, but can reach 8 to10 feet under favorable growing conditions. Generally, these shrub species develop a rounded shape with long, arching branches and light green foliage. Purple beautyberry (C. dichotoma) is slightly smaller in stature. Leaves are smaller, and the nodes are closer together resulting in a more compact plant that is 3-5 feet in height and width.

Growth Rate /Growing Conditions
Beautyberries are long-lived shrubs that grow at a moderate to rapid rate depending on the species and growing conditions. Shrub size can be controlled with yearly pruning. The ideal soil is fertile, loose and well drained, although beautyberry will tolerate most soil conditions. Plants grow naturally in light to moderate shade, but can be planted in full sun for maximum flowering and berry production when adequate moisture is available. The shrubs develop a cascading or weeping effect as they mature.

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Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:51 am
Location: Vancouver, WA

Ha, this is sort of funny to me because I know Beauty Berry as a tree and not so much a shrub- seen them treed up a lot. And four feet doesn't begin to describe them...

If you don't mind the shade and ground use of this "shrub" make yours into a tree maybe.


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