To the genus callicarpa belong some shrubs of small or medium size, originating in North America and Asia; they have a rather disordered development, the foliage is lanceolate, rough and wrinkled; most of the species cultivated in our climates have deciduous leaves, in autumn, before falling, the leaves of the Callicarpa it takes on a beautiful golden yellow color. In late spring, or early summer, they produce countless white or rosé flowers; in autumn the flowers are followed by small fruits, gathered in bunches at the leaf axil or at the insertion of the branches. The berries of Callicarpa they remain on the plant for months, during the cold season, when the shrub is devoid of foliage. These fruits are of a beautiful pink or purple color, and make them very decorative in the winter garden, completely gray and bare.
Species available in nurseries are generally deciduous specimens, which well withstand our climate. However, it is advisable to place the callicarpa in a very sunny place, especially during the winter, and away from the wind, so that it can well survive the elements; in fact, although the callicarpa can withstand not too intense frosts, if the frosts are very persistent and the temperatures of many degrees below zero, they can ruin the tips of the branches.
If the temperatures are very rigid it is good to intervene protecting the root system with mulching material or dry leaves, which will guarantee protection to avoid problems in the case of very cold weather.
They tolerate the sultry heat without problems.
They prefer rich, very well drained soils; the specimens abode for a long time are satisfied with the rainwater, but the young specimens must be sporadically watered, insisting especially during the summer period.
To obtain a large number of berries, it is advisable to place some nearby specimens, so that the pollination takes place crosswise.
These shrubs do not develop too vigorously, and generally remain below 2-3 meters in height; usually they do not need large pruning operations, the normal cleaning of ruined or dry branches in early spring is removed.
Diseases and pests
Plants of this genus are rather rustic and resistant and are not often affected by pests and diseases. A problem that can be encountered is related to an excess of water and humidity that can cause the onset of fungal diseases. In this case it is good to intervene with the use of specific products and if the disease spreads, it is good to intervene quickly eliminating the damaged parts to avoid that even the healthy ones are affected.
Callicarpa - Callicarpa: Multiplication
The multiplication of this type of shrubby plant usually occurs by seed in the spring period. If you want to get plants similar to the mother one, then it is advisable to proceed with the cuttings technique that will be taken and placed in a compound in which peat and sand will be mixed.
Wait until the new plants have reached a fair degree of strength before planting them permanently. When the plants of this variety are planted it is good to place them in the soil of mature manure that will provide nourishment for proper development.