The Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus (Coralberry) Full Care Guide

The Coralberry, otherwise known as the Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus or Coral Berry, Indian Currant, Buckbrush, is a renowned shrub plant native to the Southeast, Northeast, and the Southwest of the United States.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green-colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Coralberry Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Coralberry can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Coralberry grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
  • Light: Keep your Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Coralberry in soil with well-draining, to moist but well-draining, and to even poorly draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Coralberry will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Coralberry belongs to the Caprifoliaceae family, the genus Symphoricarpos and the species Orbiculatus, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus (sim-foh-ri-KAR-pos or-bi-kew-LAY-tus).

As with other Symphoricarpos’s, the Coralberry is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Coralberry is a plant native to Missouri. This is why the Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus is used to growing in specific regions such as the states in Southeast, Northeast, and the Southwest of the United States.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Coralberry is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 7 region, and in climate zones that range between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Coralberry is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Coralberry actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus can grow up to 2′ – 5′ (60cm – 150cm) in 2′ – 5′ (60cm – 150cm) and 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm) in 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm). These dimensions make the Coralberry a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 72″ – 96″ (180cm – 240cm) free so the Coralberry can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Coralberry is a fairly simple plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Coralberry in soil with well-draining, to moist but well-draining, and to even reduced draining characteristics, as these will guarantee good conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Coralberry is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Coralberry prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Coralberry requires soil with clay, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Placement

In terms of light & exposure, the Coralberry requires partial to full sun in order to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in shade, or partial sun to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus in from full or deep shade (no direct sunlight or at most 2 hours per day), to little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to dappled or moderate shade (under other plant’s canopy), and finally full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the Coralberry will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes. However, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


You can expect your Coralberry to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer).

The Coralberry produces some beautiful white, or purple/lavender, pink and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Coralberry have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves. You can expect the leaves from your Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Coralberry is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for dry soil, clay soil, drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Symphoricarpos Orbiculatus will be fine.


Now, let’s talk garden and how your Coralberry will look best in it.

Other owners consider that they compliment well most gardens of informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Coralberry’s best location within your garden is in ground covers, banks and slopes, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a cutting garden, firescaping/fire wise, border, erosion control, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Coralberry’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Cercis canadensis, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Calycanthus floridus will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Coralberry, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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