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Beautyberry Shrubs

Q.Tips For Beauty Berry

Zone 62812 | Yymartin added on October 18, 2020 | Answered

Just planted one that has serious root bound problems. Was told to prune now too.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 18, 2020

Did you score the rootball when you planted it to stop the roots from circling?

I would wait till late winter to prune. This article gives two different methods you can use.


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Answered on October 18, 2020

Pruning top growth will make it easier on the roots. Reduce the overall height and prune out crossing, damaged, and dead branches. Pruning the roots may be necessary, too. If the shrub is too root bound to loosen the roots, try gently using a 3-tine claw-type cultivator. If that doesn't work, spray roots with a hose to wash out the soil, De-tangle and straighten the roots. Your planting hole may need to be 3 times the width of the container to do this. If there are roots that do not fit the hole or roots that will not straighten, cut them off where the problem starts. It may be easier to get the depth right if you make a mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Backfill, tamp the soil and water several times. Apply 2-4 inches or wood mulch or chopped or mowed leaves. It will be critical to water the shrub weekly (about 2 gallons) if autumn is dry. The roots will keep working to get established until the ground freezes. Here is general information on planting shrubs: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/learn-how-to-avoid-and-repair-transplant-shock-in-plants.htm

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