Trees and shrubs

Barberry: original and decorative


Barberry is an original shrub highly valued for its foliage, defensive character and flowering.

In summary, what you need to know:

Last name
 : Berberis
Family : Berberidaceae
Type : Shrub

Height
: 1 to 3 m
Exposure : Sunny and partial shade
Ground : Ordinary

Foliage
: Obsolete or persistentFlowering : Spring, summer

Planting barberry

There are several species of barberry, some deciduous, others evergreen, but all are planted the same way.

It's better to planting barberry in the fall to promote rooting.

Planting possible in the spring but taking care to water regularly the following summer.

  • Barberry appreciates sunny to shady situations.
  • In hedges, respect a spacing of 1 m between each foot.
  • Follow our planting advice, in image and video.

Barberry is multiplied by cuttings in late summer.

Pruning and caring for barberry

Rapidly growing barberry requires little care when properly established.

Prune the barberry well:

Before embarking on barberry pruning, put on your best gloves as you may injure yourself with its thorns.

In hedge, choose a size in fall and spring to give it the shape you want.

Isolated, we can cut in autumn about 1/4 of its height to promote spring flowering.

It is better touse gloves so as not to hurt yourself.

Watering and fertilizer:

Barberry needs water the first year after planting to root well, especially if it was planted in the spring.

Mulching on the ground helps maintain humidity, prevents weed growth and also weeds among the thorns.

If you find that your barberry isn't growing very much, fertilize it in the spring.

Good to know about barberry

Barberry is a shrub that can be found with both deciduous and evergreen foliage, but all feature long, protruding thorns.

Native to Japan, this thorny has several hundred species and therefore many different shapes and colors.

The most common isThunberg barberry, or Berberis thunbergii, frequently used as a hedge.

It is found with both green and purple foliage, and blooms vary from pink to white through yellow and orange.

  • It is particularly suitable for defensive hedges but also for shrub beds.
  • Birds like it because it is safe for them to nest there.

Barberry varieties

For a evergreen foliage and a yellow and early flowering, you will use berberis darwinii. Be careful, it has poor resistance to frost.

If you are looking for a dwarf variety in order to constitute a bank, low hedge or border, choose the Berberis thunbergii which will remain persistent in winter. We also have Dwarf barberry or Berberis buxifolia (photo opposite)

For a 2 m high hedge, choose it Berberis umbellata which constitutes an excellent screening.

Finally, if you want a barberry ornamental with decorative foliage, choose the berberis ottawensis ‘Golden Ring’and its purple foliage edged with yellow or Berberis vulgaris, still purple but very dark.

Smart tip

The good hardiness of this shrub frees you from any fertilizer or maintenance product.

Video: Going rogue: The story of Japanese Barberry (October 2020).