The Japanese Barberry Bush (Berberis thunbergii) is a great little colorful plant that fits into almost any type of landscape design.
A nice shiny burgundy almost red plant that works well in a Xeriscape area or a more oriental or formal type of landscape. They do need regular watering even after they have become established. It is best to have its own watering system or water more often by hand during the hot mid-summer months.
It does produce a small pinkish bloom but not showy the plant is used primarily for its color almost year round.
They grow to about 3 maybe 5 ft. tall within 5-6 years after initial planting. It is a short shrub plant that can be used as a small hedge.
The Pygmy Ruby Barberry™ Bush
This Barberry shrub is from Monrovia.com. Nice looking deep red leaves cover this commonly dense, round type shrub. Not much maintenance and very little trimming needed to maintain its neat, dwarf-like pattern, making it a good choice for a low maintenance mass planting shrub, or a short style hedge. It will lose its leaves in late fall.
Rose Glow Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Rose Glow’)
Another great looking Japanese Barberry this one also comes from Monrovia.com. The photo above is a little misleading as it looks quite tall but it is actually only 5ft. in height. The contrasting color makes it stand out among the other green shrubs.
Where to place This Bush
Plant them in full sun but they can tolerate some shade. Make sure they have good soil that drains well. Best to let them grow to their natural height and width.
Problems with the Japanese Barberry Bush
It is susceptible to spider mites and verticillium wilt. Spraying with a good insecticide will kill the spider mites. You can also water from the top down to keep spider mites from infesting your Barberry bush.
However, the verticillium wilt is basically a soilborne fungus and best to spray with a fungus spray at the first sign of trouble. The symptoms are leaves dropping prematurely and yellow scorched-looking leaves.
Barberry Bush works best in USDA zones 4-8. Find your gardening zone here.
More great shrubs for the Southwest here.
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com