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Redleaf Barberry

Barberry Care and Landscaping Ideas for the Red Barberry

Redleaf Barberry is a showy plant with purplish red foliage during the growing season. It has a very dense branching habit, and due to its thorns makes an excellent barrier plant or hedge.

It is deciduous shrub, offering a thorny branched skeleton studded with tiny red berries for winter interest. This barberry plant is considered to be good for people who suffer from allergies, as it seems to bother them very little.

Plant it in full sun for the best color. If the shrub gets too much shade your leaves will be much greener. This plant makes an attractive hedge that can be used for security purposes. Not many creatures will brave its thorns.

Companion Plants

Redleaf Barberry makes a beautiful addition to your landscaping. To set off its unusual color, plant it with mock orange, English laurel or Silver King Euonymus for a nice contrast.

It also goes well with William Penn Barberry, which is green in the summer and bronze in the fall. Flowers in color ranges of pink to white look very nice next to the Barberry.

Barberry Care

To keep the shrub in the form you like, shear it annually after it finishes flowering. For your own protection, be sure you wear heavy duty gardening gloves when working with this plant. The thorns are sharp.

During its first season after planting, be sure and water your Redleaf Barberry regularly to establish a good root system. Once established, it will need extra watering during the heat of summer to look its best. This plant is fairly pest tolerant. It can fall prey to scale occasionally.

Feed the Redleaf Barberry with a general purpose fertilizer early in the spring before new growth begins. Additional feedings can be done towards the end of May, early July, mid-August and late October. For new plantings, use half the recommended dose of fertilizer.

The Barberry family is quite extensive. Barberry comes in many varieties and colors, ranging from yellow, purple, red, and green. The Redleaf variety is also available in a dwarf version.

Barberry Information

  • Scientific Name: Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea'

  • Best Soil: Adapts to any soil except wet soil. It tolerates drought conditions fairly well. Prefers well drained sandy, loamy or clay soil. For optimum conditions, the pH should be between 6.8 to 7.7.

  • Light: Full sun for best color; partial shade will give more green coloring

  • Growth Rate: Moderate

  • Foilage: Reddish purple all season

  • Fall Color: Amber, orange, red

  • Bloom: Tiny yellow flowers in spring

  • Mature Size and Shape: To 4 feet tall and wide; round

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-8

  • Plant Spacing: Plant 2 feet apart for hedges

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