Callicarpa, the candy tree


Callicarpa or candy tree is a beautiful shrub that grows fine in the ground and in a pot.

Callicarpa Candy tree facts

Name: Callicarpa bodinieri
Family: Lamiaceae (old: Verbenaceae)
Type: shrub

Height: 6 ½ feet (2 meters)
Exposure: full sun, light shade

Soil: ordinary  –  Foliage: deciduous  –  Flowering: early summer

Easy to care for, it will fill you with childish glee thanks to its cute berries that appear in the middle of summer and last until the end of winter.

Planting Callicarpa, the candy tree

Callicarpa plantingIndifferently either in spring or fall.

Take note, however, of the following:

  • planting in fall will increase chance of regrowth
  • and planting in spring involves extra watering at the beginning.

Follow our advice on planting shrubs.

Pruning Callicarpa, the candy tree

It isn’t really a requirement to prune, but maintenance pruning helps keep a compact bearing.

  • callicarpa careWait for the end of winter to reduce or balance out the branches.
  • Prune the sprigs grown during the previous year back to about 4 inches (10 cm) from where they split from their structural branch.
  • Eliminate weakened or dead branches.
  • Give your callicarpa a nice shape and a dense bearing.

All there is to know about Callicarpa, the candy tree

Callicarpa plantAlthough the summer blooming can literally be disregarded, this shrub is much more famous for its fruits that appear in fall and hang to the tree for the most part of winter.

Even if the leaves fall off come autumn, the berries remain and thus decorate the garden or terrace over the coldest months of the year. Callicarpa berries are edible, even though they don’t taste very good. This means the shrub isn’t dangerous for toddlers to play around of.

Very much suited to growing in pots, it also can stand alone in a yard, or be part of a shrub bed.

Smart tip about Callicarpa, the candy tree

If your area hosts particularly strong freezing in winter, grow it potted and bring it indoors to shelter it from freezing in a cool spot.

Images: CC BY 2.0: Katja Schulz; Pixabay: Willfried Wende, Hans Braxmeier, Cor Weggelaar