The Q&A Archives: Pruning

Question: I recently purchased a purple beauty berry shrub. I planted it about three weeks ago and it looks sick. I did everything the nursery person told me to do. One side of it is laying on the ground and I was wondering if I could cut back that side. It does have the purple berries on it, but they are starting to fade.

Answer: Purple beautyberry or Callicarpa dichotoma is a deciduous plant, so part of what you are seeing may be its normal fall coloring and leaf drop. The plant also tends to sprawl a bit and can look untidy. However, I would be concerned about branches collapsing. If the branch is damaged you could cut it off. (And in spring, you will need to cut it back to remove any winter damage, possibly even removing most of the branches.) You might also want to consult with the nursery as to what is happening since it is a newly purchased plant.

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