Garden Critique: American Beautyberry
American Beautyberry Shrub
We have had a native American Beautyberry in our Certified Backyard Habitat for years. It is a deciduous shrub that provides nectar to the bees in spring and food to the birds in autumn. If you are in the United States and garden for nature, I highly recommend this plant for your habitat.
The shrub’s airy, light lavender blooms attract bees in masses who steal its sweet nectar. In the fall, it produces bright purple seeds to the delight of the birds. Each autumn in our garden, the shrub is covered in birds devouring the seeds from morning to night.
Plant the shrub in the spring or fall so that it may have adequate time to establish itself before extreme weather begins. It prefers light shade and very well-drained soil. Beautyberry shrubs desire at least one inch of rain each week but can withstand short periods of drought. The shrub has very little pest problems and does not really need pruning. It is an all-around great addition to most gardens.
Native Plant Resources
- USDA Blog » Garden with Native Plant Species on National Planting Day
- Home - National Wildlife Federation
Learn about the National Wildlife Federation's work to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.
- National Gardening Association :: Gardening Resources
Information and inspiration on gardening with answers to questions about lawns, landscapes, trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetables, herbs and flowers, organic gardens, compost, urban, soil, design, roses, tomato, how to grow in containers.
Importance of Native Plants
Plants that are native to a particular region are vital to the support of local ecosystems. They provide food and shelter for insects and animals indigenous to the area they inhabit. Native plants will survive droughts, insects, and most anything that is a normal occurrence in its region.
Such plants do not have to be dull and boring. For example, the beautiful purple coneflower or black-eyed susan. Our habitat has both of these plus columbine and bee balm. All have provided a showy display for humans and food for animals and insects.
Gardening with Natives
Gardening for Wildlife Resources
About the Author
Catherine Dean is a freelance writer, gardener, quilter, and blogger. Her professional background includes nonprofit program development, grant writing, and volunteer management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Georgia College & State University.
Her blog, Sowing A Simple Harvest, chronicles a modern couple trying to live a simplistic, sustainable life. To explore Catherine's professional credentials, visit her website. She can also be followed on Google+.