Only when most of the other plants are already preparing for the cold season does the love pearl bush with countless purple and purple berries show why it is also called beautiful fruit. The berries adorn the shrub well into winter, while the foliage slowly changes its color to a yellowish-reddish hue before it is thrown off. Since the shrub grows to a height of between 2 m and 3 m, many gardening enthusiasts plant several beautiful fruits next to each other and thus receive a decorative privacy screen.
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Since the ornamental shrub is native to China, it prefers a sunny to partially shaded location where it is somewhat protected from the cold winds in winter. The plant makes no great demands on the quality of the soil, it should only be as low in lime as possible, not too heavy and without the formation of waterlogging. A little sand is therefore added to heavy soil before planting.
In addition, the following care instructions must be observed:
- if it is dry, water with low-lime water;
- Fertilizer not required;
- do not use de-icing salts nearby;
- Winter protection through jute sacks;
- Protect roots with bark mulch.
Since the love pearl bush is not completely hardy in the first few years, the young bushes in particular should be given winter protection. Diseases and pests are unknown, apart from the leaf damage that occurs when de-icing salts are used in the vicinity of the beautiful fruit in winter. Hobby gardeners who have planted the ornamental plant in the front yard therefore use other methods to clear the access to the house from ice and snow, because de-icing salt that seeps into the ground can still cause great damage to the plants after years.
Since the branches, which are hung with numerous berries in autumn, are also beautiful to look at as vase decorations, there is nothing to prevent some of them from being cut off with a sharp knife. A deep rejuvenation cut, on the other hand, needs to be carefully considered. Since the love pearl bush always carries the berries on two-year-old wood, it will only show sparsely this at least one season after extensive pruning. However, there is nothing to prevent it from being thinned out a bit in the course of summer by pruning the branches that only have a few flowers. New shoots will then form there, which visibly rejuvenates the love pearl bush. Shrubs that have grown too large over the years and are starting to bald from below should be radically pruned. The best time for this is spring. Dead shoots are removed and branches that are too long are cut. Then the flower and berry costume will largely be canceled for this year; however, the chances are good that the beautiful fruit will sprout again in the following year.
Hobby gardeners who are already the proud owners of a beautiful fruit bush can easily propagate it with cuttings. The best time for this measure is autumn. The following procedure has proven itself:
- Long, healthy shoots without fruit hangings that are cut close to the ground are perfect.
- With a sharp knife, the selected shoots are divided so that there is a pair of buds at the top and bottom.
- If you want to force the formation of new roots on the cuttings, you can do this with the help of a rooting powder made from seaweed extract. Various products are available from specialist garden shops. The undersides of the cuttings are moistened and briefly dipped into the powder.
- The cuttings are now put in threes or four in flower pots or other growing vessels that are filled with a suitable, loose substrate. A maximum of 2 cm should be visible from the tips. If you want to be absolutely sure that there are no germs in the substrate, place it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200 °. Alternatively, the cuttings can also be stuck in the ground in the garden, but must then be covered with garden fleece, a jute sack or foil to protect against the cold.
- The pots with the cuttings are ideally stored in a cool but frost-free place. During this time, the earth is kept slightly moist, without waterlogging.
- In the following spring, the cultivation containers are placed outdoors, where they will form sufficiently strong roots by summer. Then it is time to prick out the cuttings and plant them in their new location in the bed. If the root formation is not yet satisfactory, experienced hobby gardeners wait until the following spring to be on the safe side before planting the young shrubs.
The effectiveness of rooting powder or rooting hormones is viewed as a matter of dispute among the friends of the beautiful fruit. Since this remedy can be acquired quite cheaply, nothing should prevent you from trying it yourself, because using it will not harm the cutting in any case.
Increasing the beautiful fruit by sowing
The seeds of the love pearl bush can be sown indoors all year round at a temperature of at least 20 ° Celsius. The following materials should be available:
- Cultivation vessel
- Cultural substrate
- some sand
- Transparency foil
- Elastic band
To force germination in advance, the seeds are soaked in a bowl of lukewarm water for 24 hours. The growing medium is mixed with a little sand so that it is nicely permeable and filled into pots that have a drainage hole for excess water if possible. A small drainage layer made of pebbles or granules prevents the drainage hole from clogging. The seeds are planted in this earth to a depth which corresponds to twice their length. Then the whole thing is slightly moistened and covered with the plastic film, which is fastened with a rubber band. A few small air holes ensure that mold does not form due to the high humidity that is created underneath. After two to three weeks, the seeds will germinate and the film can be removed. Now you have to be patient until the first small leaves appear and the seedlings can be pricked out. From this point on, they come in their own pot filled with growing media. The young plants can develop outdoors from spring to autumn. In the first two years of their life, however, they should still spend the winter in a frost-proof room. With good care, the roots develop quickly, so that the ornamental shrub is gradually transplanted into larger and larger pots until it is large and strong enough to be planted in the garden. The young plants can develop outdoors from spring to autumn. In the first two years of their life, however, they should still spend the winter in a frost-proof room. With good care, the roots develop quickly, so that the ornamental shrub is gradually transplanted into larger and larger pots until it is large and strong enough to be planted in the garden. The young plants can develop outdoors from spring to autumn. In the first two years of their life, however, they should still spend the winter in a frost-proof room. With good care, the roots develop quickly, so that the ornamental shrub is gradually transplanted into larger and larger pots until it is large and strong enough to be planted in the garden.
Whether bought as a container plant or grown from seeds, spring is the best time to plant the love pearl bush in the garden. For this purpose, a hole is dug at the chosen location that is at least twice as large as the root ball. To prevent waterlogging, the bottom of the hole is loosened with a rake and covered with a 3 cm to 5 cm thick layer of pebbles, granules or potsherds. This drainage is then covered with a layer of potting soil previously mixed with some sand and a few handfuls of horn shavings. In the next step, the root ball is placed in the center of the planting hole and buried with the rest of the soil. The planting site is then well watered so that the roots can spread quickly. Finally, a layer of bark mulch follows, which protects against drought in summer and cold in winter. If several love pearl bushes are planted next to each other, the distance is at least 200 cm. In general, there are some arguments in favor of planting several specimens of this attractive ornamental shrub side by side. Since this type of plant is a cross-pollinator, the chances are good that the abundance of autumn berries is significantly more extensive than with a solitary plant.
So far, more than 100 varieties of beautiful fruit have been cultivated worldwide. Some of the most popular variants are presented below:
Chinese beautiful fruit / love pearl bush ‘Callicarpa giraldii’
- one of the most popular varieties in Central Europe
- inconspicuous flowers in summer
- Bees and butterflies magnet
- purple fruits in autumn are poisonous
- Growth height up to 300 cm
Love pearl bush / beautiful fruit ‘Profusion’
- bears innumerable purple berries in autumn
- Foliage turns yellow in autumn
- hardy from the second year
- Growth height up to 300 cm
- Spread up to 200 cm
Schönfrucht ‚Callicarpa americana‘
- based in America
- elongated, serrated leaves
- purple fruits are exceptionally edible
Liebesperlenstrauch ‚Callicarpa bodineri‘
- Rarity with upright branches
- purple-pink flowers in summer
- Height of growth 200 cm to 300 cm
- hardy from the second year
Japanese love pearl bush Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Leucocarpa’
- numerous purple flowers on long umbels
- shiny, red-violet berries
- becomes up to 250 cm wide and 300 cm high
- long, pointed foliage
Most garden centers offer the love pearl bush as a container plant. However, this fascinating shrub is quite expensive compared to most other ornamental plants. If you want to make the settlement of the beautiful fruit in the garden a little cheaper, pull the first plants from seeds and later carry out the propagation with the help of cuttings.
The exotic-looking love pearl bush is an ornament for every garden. With a height of more than 200 cm, it is just as fascinating a feast for the eyes as a solitary plant, as in a group, as a privacy screen or in a bucket. In summer he lets the other plants in the garden take precedence and shows only inconspicuous flowers, which, however, magically attract bees and butterflies. In autumn the time has come for his big show. Countless, shiny, purple berries develop on straight-growing umbels, which attract everyone’s attention until well into winter. The love pearl bush feels particularly comfortable in a sunny, sheltered location, as long as the soil is not too calcareous. Otherwise it is extremely easy to care for and can easily be propagated with the help of cuttings or seeds. A pruning is only necessary if it becomes too large or slowly becomes bald. In the next year, the beautiful fruit sprouts again and forms the countless, colorful berries. The branches overgrown with the purple love pearls are also a special ornament for the vase in the house.