Barberry Shrub: Planting And Care In The Open Field, Species And Varieties With Photos

The plant genus Berberis is directly related to the barberry family and is represented by shrubs as well as trees. The name barberry comes from the Arabic word "beiberi", which translates to "having the shape of a shell". The greatest prevalence of barberry in natural conditions is observed in the mountainous regions of the Northern Hemisphere. This genus includes 170 different species of plants, some of which are cultivated by gardeners. From the fruits of barberry prepare delicious jam, drinks, and the plant is also used for the manufacture of medicines in the home.

And also such a plant is distinguished by its rather spectacular appearance. Leaflets of barberry varieties may be painted in different colors, such as green, purple, yellow, and they may also be mottled, spotted or have a border. Also different kinds and varieties can be of different heights ranging from 30 to 300 centimeters.

Properties of barberry

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

This shrub can be evergreen, deciduous and semi evergreen. It has prickles and leathery or simple alternate leaf laminae.

The spines are modified leaflets, with only the central vein remaining. The axils contain short stems which make the leaflets appear in bunches. On this year's stems, the leaf plates are arranged singly in a spiral pattern. The small, fragrant flowers are golden yellow or orange with flecks of red. The florets are usually part of corymb-like or corymb-like inflorescences, but solitary ones can also be found in some cases.

Each petal has a pair of nectaries. During flowering, bees flock to the fragrance of barberry flowers, the plant is considered a good honeybee. Depending on the species and variety of fruit may have different shapes and colors. This plant grows well in the city, as it differs in its unpretentiousness, resistance to drought. Also, barberry grows and develops perfectly in any soil.

This plant is excellent for creating a hedge.

Barberry. Features of the barberry tunberg. Care of barberry.

How to plant barberry

What time to plant

As a rule, barberry seedlings are planted in the spring time after the soil has thawed completely.

However, planting must be done before the buds open. However, in some cases, planting can be done in the fall. Or more precisely, at the time when there is a mass fall of leaves. Such an undemanding plant can be grown in semi-shaded areas and also in the open, because it is not afraid of wind gusts and drafts. Keep in mind that species and varieties with purple leaf plates look much better if grown in a sunny area.

The most suitable soil is neutral, but barberry grows and develops quite well in soil with a pH less than 7. In case the soil is excessively acidic, you will need to introduce lime into it. You can apply the necessary fertilizers several months before planting a seedling, and just before planting. Thus, 100 grams of superphosphate, 200 grams of wood ash, 400 grams of quicklime and 8 to 10 kilograms of garden soil mixed with compost or humus should be introduced into the hole.

Perfect planting

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

If you plant bushes alone, you should maintain a distance of 150 to 200 centimeters between them.

If such a shrub is used to create a hedge, no more than 2 bushes per 1 linear meter should be planted. Planting holes should be prepared 14-20 days before planting. The size of such a hole should be 40x40 centimeters, and the depth of the trench for the hedge is 0,4 meters. To improve the aeration of the root system, you should fill the bottom of the pit or trench with a layer of sand. If the soil is neutral or weakly acidic, then before planting barberry, it should be made those fertilizers that are listed above, but it is not necessary to pour ash and lime.

Once the hole is prepared, the seedling is placed in it and the necessary amount of soil is poured, which is then tamped down. After that, the plant should be watered with plenty of water, and the surface of the root circle should be covered with a layer of mulch (compost or peat). Once the barberry has been planted, the part that is above the ground should be cut off. However, note that the remaining part should have 3 to 5 well developed buds.

Barberry care

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos


Even someone who is new to gardening should be able to grow barberry.

The fact is that it is extremely unpretentious and undemanding in its care, and all types and varieties should be cared for in exactly the same way. For example, the care of Tunberg barberry, which is most often grown as an ornamental shrub, is quite identical to that used in the cultivation of varieties with edible fruits. In this regard, it is enough just once to study well how to properly grow such a shrub, and then you can grow its various types and varieties.

Care for barberry consists of watering, pruning, loosening the soil, removing weeds and timely fertilization. If the summer period is characterized by long dry periods, during them, watering should be carried out once every 7 days, using cool water, which should be poured directly under the root, taking care that the liquid does not appear on the surface of the leaf plates.

If it rains enough in summer, it is not necessary to water the shrub. Newly planted plants should also be watered once a week until they get over the disease and begin to grow. If the summer was too rainy and wet, it can cause rotting of the root system of barberry, as it is extremely negatively reacts to the accumulation of liquid in the ground. Do not forget to pluck all weeds in a timely manner, as well as shoots, which grow near the bush in large quantities. You should also be sure to loosen the surface of the soil.

To reduce the amount of weeding, loosening and watering, you should cover the soil surface with a layer of mulch (sawdust, peat or nutshells).


Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

The amount of fertilizer you put in the soil when planting should last about 12 months. With the coming of the next spring period, the barberry should be fertilized with a nitrogen-containing fertilizer, thus using a solution of urea (20 to 30 grams of the substance per 10 liters of water). In subsequent years, feed barberry nitrogen fertilizer should be at intervals of 1 every 3 or 4 years. However, in case this shrub is grown to produce fruit, then when flowering is over and at the end of the season, you will need to make potassium and phosphorus in the soil (15 grams of superphosphate and 10 grams of potassium fertilizer per 1 bush is taken).

For fertilizing, you can use such a complex fertilizer as Kemira-Universal. Apply such fertilizer to the soil in the first days of July, taking 15 grams of the substance per 10 liters of water.


Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

When pruning, it will be necessary to cut those shoots that are affected by any disease or pest, as well as those that are weakened, dried, and also those that contribute to thickening. If the species is decorative, the first time it should be cut in spring when it reaches one year of age. It is necessary to cut off 1/3 or 2/3 of the shoot.

In subsequent years, the bush is pruned 2 times a year, namely in the first days of June and in early August. Such pruning is both sanitary and shaping. Those species and varieties that are low-growing can be pruned without pruning.

Diseases and pests

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

Pests such as barberry sawfly, barberry aphid or flower mealybug can harm this shrub. Aphid-infested shrubs begin to shrivel and dry out their leaf plates.

The aphid poses a great danger to species with edible fruits because they eat them. A solution of laundry soap is used to exterminate the aphids (300 grams of soap per bucket of water). To kill sawfly caterpillars as well as moths, it is necessary to treat the bush with 1-3% chlorophos solution.

In most cases these bushes are infected with fungal diseases such as rust, leaf spot, powdery mildew, bacteriosis or wilt. A shrub infected with powdery mildew will develop a whitish powdery coating on the surface of its leaves, berries, and stems.

Claystothecia appear on areas of the plant affected by the disease nearer to autumn, and the fungus will survive the winter well in them. To get rid of such a disease, you should make a treatment with a solution of colloidal sulfur (1%). Those stems that are very severely affected should be cut off and destroyed. As a rule, rust appears on those bushes that grow near cereal plants. On an infected specimen, orange-colored spots appear on the front side of the leaves, while red bulging pads form on the underside.

If the infestation is severe, the leaf laminae will dry out and fall off. You can get rid of this disease by treating with a special solution, which is carried out 3 times. A solution of Bordeaux liquid or colloidal sulfur (1%) is used for this purpose. The first treatment should be made as soon as all the buds open and the leaves grow, followed by the next treatment at intervals of 20 days. A solution of copper oxychloride (30 to 40 grams per bucket of water) is used to get rid of the disease.

The treatment should be carried out before the barberry blossoms, and after the end of flowering. In a bush infected with wilting, the leaves and stems become sluggish and wither. In this case, wilting begins on one side, and then gradually spreads throughout the plant. To prevent the disease from affecting the entire bush, it is necessary to cut off the infected stems in a timely manner. Also in the initial stage of wilt development, copper oxychloride or Bordeaux liquid will help to get rid of it.

For preventive purposes, bushes should be sprayed in spring with Bordeaux liquid. If infected with bacteriosis (bacterial cancer), tumors and cracks appear on the bush, and it begins to outgrow. If the bacteriosis has affected only the top of the stem, it should be cut off, while capturing the healthy tissue. However, if the cancer appeared on the lower part of the stem, which is located near the trunk, the whole bush will be infected. Infected areas should be cut off and destroyed, then the entire bush should be treated with bordeaux liquid or other agent containing copper.

Barberry multiplication

Multiplication of such shrub can be done by seeds as well as by dividing the bush, by branches and by cuttings. Keep in mind, however, that each of these methods has both positive and negative sides.

Growing barberry from seeds

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

You will need well matured barberry fruits to collect seeds. Separate the pips from the pulp and immerse them in a solution of potassium manganese, where they should spend a few minutes. After that, the seeds should be dried.

The seeds are sown in the autumn time directly into the pupil bed, and they should be sown to a centimeter depth. After the sprouts have a couple of true leaves in the spring time, thinning should be done, and it should be taken into account that between the plants should be kept at least 3 centimeters. Grow in a training bed must barberries within a couple of years, after which they are planted in a permanent place. If you planned the seeding in the spring, the seeds will have to undergo stratification. To do this, they must be mixed with sand and placed on the shelf of a refrigerator (temperature 2-5 degrees), where they should spend from 2 to 5 months.

Such seedlings planted in a permanent place, for the first time will give fruit after 2 or 3 years from the time of sprouting. However, note that several bushes next to each other are necessary for the appearance of ovaries as this plant requires cross-pollination.

Barberry cuttings

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

Preparing cuttings in mid-June, and this procedure should be done early in the morning. The leaf blades at the bottom of the cuttings should be removed and those at the top should be shortened by ½. Then the prepared cuttings should be immersed in a solution of a product that stimulates root growth (heteroauxin, epin or rooting agent), where they should stay for several hours.

After that they should be well washed with clean water and planted in a greenhouse in a wet earth mixture consisting of fertile soil, humus, peat and sand (2:2:2:1). You will need a removable dome for the greenhouse that must be transparent. The plants will stay in the greenhouse for about half a month. The dome should be removed systematically to allow the cuttings to air out. When they are fully rooted, the cover should be removed for good.

The cuttings are planted in a training bed, where they should grow for about 2 years, then they can be planted in a permanent place.

Retermination of barberry by taps

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

In the spring time, a fairly strong annual stem should be selected from among the lower branches of the bush. It should then be pressed to the soil surface and placed in a shallow (about 20 centimeters) groove, which should be made in advance. Fix the stem, then fill the groove with soil, with only the upper part of the shoot should remain on the soil surface. In the autumn time, the ready rooted offshoot should be separated from the parent plant and transplanted for rearing.

Propagation of barberry by bush division

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

This method of propagation is excellent for low-grown barberry species, the plant must be at least 3-5 years old and its root neck must be at least 10 centimeters deep. In the spring time, the bush should be dug up, and then it is divided into several divisions, which should be approximately equal in size. In order to divide the root itself, you may need not only secateurs, but also a garden saw. Proceed with extreme care, trying to cause as little damage to the plant as possible. When the bush will be divided, all the cuts should definitely be smeared with crushed charcoal, and then the dividers should be planted in the open ground.

If the stems of the specimen begin to branch above the ground, this method of propagation should not be used.

Barberry in winter

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

Barberry in autumn

After late autumn arrives, the surface of the bed should be covered with a layer of mulch, making sure the material is loose (compost, peat or dry leaves).

Hibernation of barberry

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

Young specimens that are not yet five years old should be covered with lapdrop for the winter, especially if the species is an evergreen. If the specimen is quite large, it should be covered for the winter in the same way as hydrangeas or garden roses. To do this with twine (rope) tighten the branches, and then around the bush is built like a cylinder of metal mesh, and its height should be higher than the shrub by 10 centimeters.

The empty spaces inside the construction should be filled with dry fallen leaves, and then the cylinder itself should be wrapped with covering material.

Barberry species and varieties with photos and names

Barberry species and varieties are numerous, and sometimes the choice is not so easy for the gardener. When choosing a certain species or variety, you must know exactly what your aim is and focus on it. If you are going to grow barberries for the berries, then this should stop your choice on the special species. If you need to decorate your garden or create a hedge, then other varieties and species will be suitable for this.

However, you should remember that there are species that can not only be a great garden decoration but also provide a rich harvest of tasty fruits.

Barberry common (Berberis vulgaris)

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

This species is the main one in this genus. This shrub can reach a height of up to 300 centimeters. The stems are brownish-gray in color, with three-separated prickles two centimeters long. The membranous, thin, elliptical leaves have a ciliate-serrate edge.

Their front side is colored dark green, while the reverse side is a pale greenish-gray. The tassel-shaped inflorescences are up to 6 centimeters long and consist of fragrant, glossy yellow flowers. Flowering lasts for 14 to 20 days. There are many rich red berries which are about 15 mm long. This species has many varieties: alboca variegata - leaflets are white-mottled; aureo-marginata - leaves have a golden border; atropurpurea - leaflets are dark purple or red.

The seedless form of Asperma barberry has fruits that are very easy to process.

There are several species with certain similarities to the common barberry, e.g.: Provenza barberry (a hybrid of common barberry and Siberian barberry), Awned barberry, a species from the Himalayas, Canadian barberry, Zimbold barberry, James barberry and Dils barberry.

Tunberg's barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

This is the most spectacular species among deciduous barberries and stands out for its ornamentality.

This shrub can vary in height from half a meter to a meter. There are horizontally arranged branches. The rich red or light yellow juvenile stems are deflected in an arc, and they branch strongly. Over time they turn brownish-purplish or brown. The stubby, thin spines are a centimeter long.

Graceful leaves have obovate or oblong shape and do not exceed 30 mm in length. Their front side is a deep green, while the reverse side is grayish, and in the fall they change color to a deep red. The florets may be singular or bunched together. The inner surface of the petals is yellow and the outer surface is red. Blossom time lasts 7-14 days.

The centimeter glossy elliptical berries are coral red in color. They ripen in the first days of autumn and become the main decoration of the shrub for several months. The fruits contain a large amount of alkaloids, due to this fact they have a bitter taste, but in winter days they are gladly eaten by birds. Planting and growing this species is very easy. This shrub will be an excellent decoration of your garden plot.

This species has many decorative forms: multiflora (pluriflora), dark purple (atropurpurea), silver-bordered (argenteo-marginata), etc.

The most popular varieties are such as:

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

  1. Golden Ring - reaches 300 centimeters in height and has a rounded crown shape. The ovate leaflets are about 4 centimeters long and have a dark red-purple coloration, and a yellow border. In the fall, they change color to a deep red. The centimeter-diameter florets are gathered in bunches (2 to 5 pieces), their outer surface is red and the inner is yellow.

    The glossy red-coral fruits ripen in October.

  2. Red Pilar is a columnar form. The bush reaches a height of 150 centimeters and its crown is about 45 centimeters wide. The leaf plates are purple-red, and they turn deep scarlet in autumn.
  3. Orange Rocket is a columnar form.

    The bush is no more than 1.2 meters tall and 0.6 meters wide. The smooth little ovate leaf plates on the current year's stems are orange with yellow fringing, while on last year's shoots they are purple-red in color. Against a background of greenery, such a bush looks very ornate.

    In the autumn the leaves are colored in various shades of red.

  4. Kornik - the height of this deciduous plant is about 150 centimeters. On the surface of the light green leaf plates there are randomly spaced white-cream spots of various shapes. It looks as if the leaves are splattered with paint. In autumn, the green color of the leaves changes to scarlet red.

    This variety is recommended to be planted next to conifers, roses or other varieties of barberry.

Barberry of Ottawa (Berberis x ottawensis)

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

This decorative hybrid was born from a cross between Thunberg barberry and common barberry atropurpurea. This species is among the most beautiful representatives of this genus. The height of the bush varies from 150 to 200 centimeters. Externally, such a bush is similar to the enlarged barberry of Thunberg, but the color of the leaf plates is similar to the purple-leafed form of common barberry.

Thus, the leaves are colored dark purple-pink, which in the sun looks almost black. In the autumn, the leaves take on a purple color, and they adorn the plant for a long time. This species is winter-hardy, unpretentious, and is also a fast-growing plant.

The most popular varieties are:

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

  1. Auricoma - the bush reaches 250 centimeters in height. The rounded, five-centimeter-long leaves are deep red in spring and summer and orange in fall.

    The tassel-shaped inflorescences are about 5 centimeters long and consist of yellow-red flowers that are a centimeter in diameter. The berries are rich red.

  2. Superba - The bush can reach a height of 400 centimeters. The rounded leaves are 3-5 centimeters long and have a dark red coloration with a grayish patina. In fall they change their color to different shades of red and orange.

    The brush-like inflorescences consist of red-yellow flowers. The fruits are red.

  3. Silver Miles - This variety does not look attractive when viewed up close, but when viewed from a distance it is very showy. On the surface of the purple leaves there are haphazardly arranged strokes of dirty gray. If one looks at the bush from a distance, it appears to be colored lilac.

Also quite popular are barberries such as: Juliana, Bean, Tischler, Morrison, Wilson, greenish, willowy, multifloral, oriental, Iberian, reticulate, convergent, bise-white, samchytolive, notched or neo-bordered, large spiky, provincial, spring, Ili, mint, Korean, Tibetan, Siberian, transparent, circular-pinnate, twisted, Amur, Turkmen, whole-edged, oblong, circular-flowered, Asiatic, etc.

Properties of barberry

Barberry useful properties

Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

Many species and varieties of barberry grow as a garden decoration. However, common barberry is usually grown for its fruits, which are used to make compotes, liquors, marinades, marshmallows, kissels, syrups, jams and jellies. Pickled barberry fruits are used in Armenian cuisine, for example, served with lamb, roasted vegetables or rice.

In edible species, the fruits contain tartaric, malic and citric acids, while the leafy plates contain vitamins E and C, as well as carotenoids and mineral salts.

 The fruit can lower blood pressure, fight psoriasis, tone up the body, exterminate various infections in the intestines, stop bleeding, and inhibit the growth of giardia, yeast and other parasites.

All parts of barberry have medicinal properties. Only mature berries should be picked because unripe ones contain poison. Berries are dried in a shady place and the temperature should not exceed 50 degrees. They are then poured into paper bags or cardboard boxes where they are stored for up to 3 years.

The plant has anti-inflammatory, choleretic, analgesic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, antitumor, styptic, antibacterial action. Decoction of the roots relieves inflammation of the gallbladder and promotes the outflow of bile. Decoction of the leaf plates is used for various forms of hepatitis, digestive disorders, inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal tract, diseases of the liver, gallbladder and ducts. Decoction of the bark will help with pancreatitis chronic form. Juice of the fruit has a mild laxative effect and improves appetite.

Ripe fruits mixed with honey can improve the body's immune system after radiation exposure. Decoction of the roots washes inflamed eyes, wounds, eczema affected areas of the epidermis, and is also used for lotions, compresses and rubs for radiculitis, arthritis, rheumatism, leg muscle spasms and osteochondrosis.


Barberry shrub: planting and care in the open field, species and varieties with photos

Drugs made with barberry should not be used for children under the age of 12, people with individual intolerance and those suffering from a complicated form of hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver and cholelithiasis. Also during pregnancy, postpartum or menopausal bleeding. Remember that unripe fruit contains poison!

Common barberry.

Common barberry.


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