How to use barberry in landscaping: planting and care lessons

  • Type: Barberry
  • Flowering Period: June, July
  • Height: 30-300cm
  • Color: yellow, green, red
  • Perennial
  • Winters
  • Sun loving
  • Drought resistant

Quite often you can see decorative hedges and individual shrubs of barberry. The most suitable territories for growing plants are the Caucasus, Crimea, regions with a mild climate. But barberry is unpretentious and, with proper care, tolerates winter cold and summer heat equally well, takes root on poor soils. Barberry is universal. Shrubs are used in landscaping, fruits are used in cooking, and traditional medicine. Having picked up combinations of varieties, you can create picturesque compositions on the site. So, all about barberry: planting and care, original ideas for decorating the landscape.

Description of shrubs of the genus barberry

Plants of the genus barberry are tree-like shrubs about 2-3 m tall, widespread in the wild. Due to its beautiful appearance and healthy fruits and leaves, it has become popular as a garden plant. According to one version, the name comes from the Arabic word "beiberi" and is due to the fact that the petals of barberry look like shells. The flowers have a golden yellow color, collected in inflorescences or brushes. The smell of flowers is strong and pleasant. The beginning of flowering of barberry is in May-June. Crohn is spreading. Shoots arcuate from the main trunk. The leaves turn purple in the fall, so the barberry is beautiful at any time of the year.

Fruits may vary in color. They are oblong berries about 2 cm long, sour in taste. Unripe fruits contain alkaloids in high concentrations, which is why they are poisonous. The stems and roots contain the alkaloid berberine, which has a lemon yellow color and gives the same color to the internal parts of the plant. This color, astringency and acid of the fruits have become the reasons why barberry is called "northern lemon". Spines are modified leaves, similar in shape to tridents. Thanks to the powerful spines, barberry has been widely used as hedges. The crown is formed by cropping.

The spectacular Atropurpurea variety is planted in well-lit areas, the leaves lose their intense color in the shade.

Crimea and the Caucasus are considered to be the birthplace of the plant, but it grows almost everywhere, except for areas with an extremely harsh climate. Barberry develops best in areas well lit by the sun. It grows well in the shade, but there are problems with fruiting. The plant is drought tolerant, tolerates frost without consequences, but can die on waterlogged soils. With excessive watering or frequent rains, a powerful root system begins to rot. The bush is planted singly, in groups, in the form of hedges. Low-growing varieties are suitable for decorating rocky slides. The genus of the barberry plant has 175 species.

Variety of species and varieties

There are more than one and a half hundred varieties of barberries that are grown to decorate gardens and plots. Several main types can be distinguished, each of which often has more than one form:

  • common barberry;
  • Amur barberry;
  • Canadian barberry;
  • Thunberg Barberry;
  • Ottawa barberry;
  • Korean barberry;
  • whole barberry;
  • spherical barberry;
  • barberry monetized.

Barberry ordinary

It is a frost-resistant shrub 1.5-2.5 m high, which is able to take root in areas with a rather harsh climate - up to Western Siberia. Fruits in the fourth year of life. Three types are most popular:

  • Atropurpurea. Winter-hardy barberry with bright yellow flowers and edible purple fruits. The leaves of plants grown in well-lit areas, acquire a bright purple color. When propagated by seeds, the color of leaves is not inherited by all descendants.
  • Albovariegata. The shrub grows up to 1 m high. The leaves have a dark green color with stains.
  • Aureomarginata. A feature of this barberry is the mottled color of the leaves. The plant is photophilous. In the shade, the color of the leaves loses its intensity.

The color of the leaves of barberry is unique, it can vary depending on the type of propagation and the place of growth of the bush

Amur barberry

The homeland of the plant is the Far East and North China. In addition to these territories, grows in Primorye and Japan. In the wild, found on river banks, forest edges. Outwardly, it very much resembles ordinary barberry, but the bushes grow taller - up to 3.5 m. The fruits are red, edible, have a sour taste. The leaves are large, serrated, shiny, green. In the fall they turn yellow or acquire a purple hue.

  • Japonica. This is a variety of Amur barberry, characterized by a beautiful leaf shape - rounded at the top. The number of flowers in inflorescences is less than that of many other varieties - 6-12 (usually 20-25).
  • Orpheus. This variety was bred by Russian breeders. Its feature is the absence of flowering. The height of the bush is about 1 m.

In autumn, the bushes of the Amur barberry are extremely picturesque

Canadian Barberry

In nature, shrubs grow on the rocks, banks and valleys of North America. Flowering time - end of May - beginning of June. The shrub is unpretentious, winter-drought tolerant. Blossoms and bears fruit very intensively. Outwardly resembles an ordinary barberry. In Russia, it is almost not popular, but in America for more than two centuries gardeners have paid much attention to cultivating decorative forms of shrubs. Most often hybrids are planted:

  • Declinata;
  • Oxyphylla;
  • Rehderiana.

American breeders have been working on the development of new varieties and hybrids of Canadian barberry since 1730

Ottawa barberry

This is a hybrid obtained by crossing the common barberry Atropurpurea and Thunberg barberry. It is characterized by exceptional endurance, resistance to disease. The flowers have an original color - bright yellow with reddish spots. Leaves can be red, orange, purple. Fruits - with a yellowish tinge. With good care, the shrub reaches 2-3 m, gives good growths, quickly recovers after pruning. Most often, gardeners choose decorative winter-hardy varieties:

  • Superba
  • Purpurea;
  • Auricoma;
  • Silver Miles.

Yellow flowers with red spots and purple leaves have a strong effect. Ottawa barberry - the perfect “material” for a landscape designer

Barberry Korean

A type of shrub received its name from the Korean Peninsula - the birthplace of the plant, where it can be seen on the slopes of mountain gorges. The plant is unpretentious to the soil, tolerates drought, but can suffer from waterlogging during periods of long thaws. Korean barberry can freeze in frosts, but, as a rule, only the tops of the shoots suffer. After pruning, the shoots quickly grow back. The plant is susceptible to rust. Flowers are yellow, fragrant. Fruits are rounded, red.

Yellow-red tones of Korean barberry can decorate even the most banal landscape

Barberry whole

The homeland of whole barberry is the mountainous regions of Asia. The bush can reach 2.5 m. Flowers are yellow, leaves are green with a gray tint, oblong. An interesting shade of fruit. They are red, but have a dark shade and a bluish coating. The shrub is unpretentious, can grow on any soil, except acidic. Young plants do not tolerate harsh winters, they should be covered. As they grow, the need for winter protection disappears. Shrub can be pruned. Shoots grow at an average speed.

The number of flowers of whole barberry in the hands reaches twenty!


It is also called the barberry odnoshnokovym. Distributed in the mountainous regions of Central Asia. The fruits are spherical, have a blue-gray color, are widely used in cooking. They are added to pilaf, shurpa, kebab. A distinctive feature of the fruit of barberry marrow - high content of vitamin C. In addition to valuable fruits, the bush has a spectacular appearance. The flowers are collected in small inflorescences, have a strong smell. In winter, the plant may freeze and needs shelter. Excess moisture can hurt. The shrub is especially popular among gardeners in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

The ideal soil for the cultivation of barberry

Barberry Monetized

His homeland is Central and Central Asia. Shrub grows on dry slopes. The height of the bush is usually about 2 m. The color of the flowers is bright, golden yellow. The fruits are red. The leaves are small, oblong, green, may have a bluish tint. The shrub tends to freeze in frost, does not belong to winter-resistant, but it tolerates heat very well. So that the root system of the barberry does not rot, it is necessary to monitor the amount of moisture, provide drainage. Waterlogging can result in rust and plant death.

Monochrome barberry tolerates drought, but easily roars in rainy summers

Barberry of Thunberg

The most popular variety among gardeners. Thunberg's barberry is extremely diverse. You can name at least 50 common varieties, each of which has its own advantages. Thunberg's barberry is widely used in landscape design. Typically, the shrub reaches 1 m in height and 1.5 m in diameter. Inflorescences consist of a small number of flowers - 2-4. The fruits are bright, have a red or coral red color. They look very beautiful, but they can not be eaten.

Unlike other barberries, this variety is resistant to rust, powdery mildew. It grows well after pruning. Some varieties can freeze in harsh winters. Since it is difficult to describe the characteristics of each of the popular varieties within the framework of one article, we offer a list of the most beautiful tunberg barberries:

  • Aurea;
  • Bonanza Gold;
  • Carmen;
  • Atropurpurea Nana;
  • CrimsonPygmy;
  • Kleiner Favorit;
  • Minima;
  • Little Favorite;
  • Bagatelle
  • Kobold;
  • Red chief;
  • Golden Ring;
  • Coronita;
  • Admiration
  • Dart's Red Lady;
  • Dart's Purple;
  • Red king;
  • Helmont Pillar;
  • RedPillar
  • Red Rocket
  • Rose Glow;
  • Kelleriis;
  • Harlequin;
  • Kornik;
  • Pink Queen

The above list is far from complete. Only the most beautiful and widespread varieties of Thunberg barberry are named in it. All of them are great for decorating the site. See the video for more details:

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How to choose a variety?

The number of varieties of barberry is huge. You can pick them up so that they decorate the site from May to the very frosts. The video below will demonstrate the variety and original beauty of barberries.

Landscape design application

Barberries are ideal for decorating rockeries, hedges and lawn frames, alpine slides, Japanese gardens. The color palette is extensive - from various shades of yellow and red to green, violet-blue. Luxurious compositions are obtained by combining barberries of various varieties and when combined with other types of shrubs. Barberries are used both as the main background, and as contrast accent zones.

Dwarf varieties make up the edges of flower beds and lawns. Shrub perfectly protects flowers and herbs from trampling. Some gardeners use undersized barberries to decorate the foot of large trees. It looks very picturesque. They are also used to decorate Japanese gardens.

Often barberries are planted like a hedge. Thorny shrub serves as a reliable protection of the site and looks beautiful. The hedge can be left in its original form, or you can cut it to your liking. Well-kept barberries with erect branches. You can form a rounded crown. The video explains how to cut a fountain-shaped barberry.

When and how to plant barberry?

The best time for planting barberry is spring and autumn. The plant propagates by seeds, cuttings, layering, division. The best option for a beginner gardener is to buy a good seedling, because seed propagation is time consuming.

In order to propagate the barberry with a shank, it is carefully cut, planted in fertile soil on a lawn or indoors, watered and wait until the roots appear. The finished seedling is transferred to the open ground along with the soil from the pot.

When propagating by layering, the shoot is pinned, sprinkled with earth, and the soil is moistened until the layering takes root. An even more convenient way is to divide the bush. It is taken out of the earth, divided, seated. In this case, the bush quickly takes root and begins to bear fruit.

Barberry is not picky about soils. The main thing is that it does not flood, and the chosen place is well lit. Shrub should be planted in the sun or in partial shade. For single bushes, they dig holes of 0.5x0.5x0.5 m.

For hedges - either the same pits, or a trench of the desired length. The pit is well moistened, drainage is equipped (crushed stone, leaves, sawdust, etc. are suitable). After that, soil with fertilizers (superphosphate, peat or humus) is applied. The landing site is ready.

Work sequence:

  • A seedling is lowered into the prepared recess so that the neck of the root is underground at a depth of 3-4 cm.
  • When planting a hedge, the distance between individual bushes should be 30-40 cm.
  • Planting should be well watered.
  • The last stage is mulching the soil with sawdust or leaves.

As you can see, everything is quite simple.

When planting barberry, be sure to smooth the roots of the seedling

Shrub care: watering, top dressing, pruning

Barberry is fed in the second year after planting. To do this, use urea (20-30 g per 1 bucket of water) or complex fertilizers (at the doses indicated in the instructions). After that, the bush is fed every 4-5 years.

Water the plant should only be in periods of long droughts. Enough 2-3 times a week. Be sure to prune old and dry branches. If desired, you can make shrubs shrubs to form a crown. Such procedures are carried out 2-3 times per season.

Experienced gardeners recommend treating the bush from pests. Most often, it affects aphids and flower moths. The problem is solved using a solution of phytoerm 0.2%. If powdery mildew struck barberry, use a solution of foundationazole (20 g per 1 bucket of water). A common misfortune is rust, they are fought with a 1% solution of Bordeaux fluid.


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