Pretty In Pink Coralberry Shrubs

Pretty In Pink Coralberry Shrubs

coralberry

Symphoricarpos, more commonly known as Coralberry or Snowberry bushes are incredible low-growing, shade-loving flowering ornamentals that are mostly known for their showy fall display!

Both the Coralberry and its pink to lavender berries, or the white-berried Snowberry bush feature a dazzling fall show of plump berries that are tightly packed all along each of the zig-zagging slender stems!

Read on to learn more about how to use this under-utilized little shrub in your landscape this year!

Depending on where you live, these ornamental shrubs can also go by the name Devil's Shoestring because of their zig-zagging branch growth, Buckberry, Snapberry, Waxberry, Turkey Bush, Buckbrush, or Indian Currant! Both the pink to purple-hued Coralberry and the white-fruited Snowberry are hardy native shrubs in the Honeysuckle family.

pink coralberry

These ornamental deciduous shrubs are very easy to grow and love the shaded and partly shaded areas of your landscape! They form a mounded, informal, arching shrub that generally stays low to the ground in the landscape with pretty, slender, finely-textured branching.

Featuring either pinkish to greenish-white flowers that are dainty, nectar and pollen-rich sources for native bees and other beneficial insects.

These pollinator-friendly bell-shaped blossoms form directly on the zig-zagging branches in the late spring to summer months and begin to become fat, bubble-like, tightly-packed fruit that also clings directly along the stems!

The stems develop an exfoliating shredded textured bark on older wood and brown to purplish branchlets. All along each arching, slender branch, green leaves form in pairs along their length and create a pretty dappled effect as newer growth is lighter than mature foliage.

The Snowberry & Coralberry Berries

The fruit is non-edible despite its plump, juicy appearance. Symphoricarpos has had a long history as a Medicinal plant in days of old. Decoctions of the bark or leaves were used as an eye wash and the roots were used to treat blood circulation, tonsillitis, toothaches, respiratory infections, and menstrual disorders.

closeup coralberry

Luckily, we have modern solutions for these issues that work far better. It’s best to leave the berries for the many birds and wildlife that happen into your yard instead!

Not only are the fat berries eaten by songbirds like Grosbeaks and Thrushes, ground-birds like Turkey, Pheasant, and Quail, but also small mammals, and other browsers! Many birds use this plant for food, cover, and nesting because of the dense mounding thickets Coralberry and Snowberry bushes form!

Another great use for these showy berries (aside from their incredible fall and winter decoration, color and interest) is their use as unique accents in bouquets and late-season floral arrangements! Brides love using Snowberries in their bridal bouquets, and the bubbly pink fruit of the Coralberry is loved by kids of all ages! 

They’re not highly toxic unless you eat several - but they are horrible tasting so that shouldn’t be an issue. Teach children to leave them alone, as they have a bitter taste and contain saponins which are found in shampoo and soap. Birds are lucky to not have taste buds!

  • Wildlife and bird-friendly shelter, nesting & late-season food sources
  • Pollinator-friendly bell-shaped greenish to pinkish blooms
  • Berried branches are late-season interest & unique floral arrangement accents!

Using Symphoricarpos In The Landscape

Both the hardy native forms, hybrids, and fancy cultivars of Coralberry/Snowberry bushes extend their easy-going nature to your landscape and have a natural look that works well in an informal garden.

infographic

  • The taller forms of these colorful shrubs are ideal backdrops, hedges, and larger garden accents!
  • Try a Magic Berry Snowberry as a friendly fence along your property line.
  • Accents among a mixed-shrub border
  • The White Snowberry bush is an accent row along the front of a tired and dark evergreen hedge!
  • Plant in rows for low hedges and privacy, ornamental interest, and screening, like the Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Proud Berry® Coralberry
  • Add a lyrical beauty as informal screening and barrier plantings!

These shrubs will create a dramatic show all fall and winter and add pops of fall color to mixed shrub borders!

  • Line or dot a few among your home's foundation plantings for a unique focal point!
  • Choose ornamental upright forms as landscape specimens and show-stopping color with the First Editions® Candy™ Coralberry for pink pearls all fall into the winter months.

Container-sized shrubs are lyrical spillers and container thrillers!

  • Let an Amethyst Coralberry spill over the edges of large planters and the tops of retaining walls!
  • Prune a Sweet Sensation Snowberry smaller for a tidy accent in a pot or patio planter on your porch or patio because of its ability to handle more sun!
  • Lovely draped over container edges or as large planter focal points

Your Cut Flower garden and Cottage border never had it so good! The bright pink plump berries will certainly be a conversation starter - indoors in vases or outdoors on the shrub or in outdoor planter displays!

  • A Magical Pride Coralberry will delight you with florist-quality cuts and outstanding fall interest! Proud Berry® Coralberry is dramatically colorful indoors and out!

While in their native habitat, Coralberry and Snowberry can form extensive naturalized groupings, rooting where the branching touches the ground, in your landscape however, they are polite ornamental shrubs that won’t outgrow where you plant them!

  • Create mass drifts or large groupings or low-growing colonies over time.
  • Native Snowberry and Coralberry are easy-care enough to use as mass plantings!
  • Let these shrubs ramble and sprawl among larger shrubs and as a pretty skirting around trees where they will bask in their canopy's shade
  • Ramble along slopes and the tops of retaining walls beautifully
  • Try a Hancock Coralberry Bush as edging that eases the transition between the sun and the shaded border or as edging.
  • Smaller Snowberry and Coralberry are fantastic as living groundcover and fill voids throughout the garden!
  • Some lowest-growing forms are great edging and groundcovers!

Adaptable and versatile, these shrubs handle a wide range of conditions around your yard.

  • Great thicket-forming shrubs for woodland gardens
  • Fill hard-to-mow slopes and eroding hillsides with unique, gleaming colors and year-round interest!
  • Their love of moisture makes them ideal for Rain gardens and around water features and stabilizing soil around ponds and streams.
  • Make wildlife-friendly thickets in the out-of-the-way locations of your backyard

Symphoricarpos Care Tips

These beauties are super easy to grow and low-maintenance too!

Plant in full sun in only the coldest growing zones, but most Coral and Snowberry prefer partial sun/shade and afternoon shade settings. Hottest climates should consider using a full shade location with morning sun to dry their leaves of dew.

serviceberry

Tolerating a wide range of soils and soil types as long as it is a well-drained site, Symphoricarpos do prefer their locations to have regular moisture access and never dry out completely. They do appreciate a 3-4 inch deep layer of arborist bark chips to keep their roots happy. Always pull mulch back away from directly touching the stems.

These deciduous shrubs bloom on new growth, so prune only during the early spring before they start to grow. Otherwise, you risk cutting off those berry-laden branches before they can even form!

You can perform renewal pruning every 3-5 years and keep your shrub's berry production top-notch. Simply cut out the oldest, least productive branches at the ground. Overgrown or leggy shrubs can be trimmed down completely almost to the ground and they will quickly respond with thicker bushier plants that will still flower and set fruit.

Jump On The Bandwagon With Berry-Laden Symphoricarpos!

Check out all the fantastic Coralberry and Snowberry bushes at Nature Hills Nursery! Gorgeous foliage, lythe branching, cascading form, and outstanding fall fruit await you when you include one of these wildlife-friendly shrubs in your landscape!

Happy Planting!

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