How to Plant a Barberry Bush


A barberry bush makes a colorful addition to any landscape, as it provides color any time of year, ranging from shades of reds and pinks to golds. Barberry bushes can grow up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, which is why many people select them as a hedge plant. The thorny branches help keep unwanted pests out of the yard, while birds feast on the berries. There are many different types of barberry bushes, so speak to a professional at the nursery when selecting your particular shrub, as she can give you the specific growth details about the type you wish to buy. If a barberry bush sounds like an addition you would like to make to your yard, you can easily plant one following a few basic steps.

Step 1

Select a home for your barberry bush that has well-drained soil and receives full sun to part shade.

Step 2

Dig a hole for your barberry that is 1 inch deeper and wider than the pot it is currently in. Mix some compost in with the soil in the bottom of the hole. Compost can be purchased at any lawn and garden center.

Step 3

Pour 2 inches of water in the bottom of the hole, and let it soak into the soil

Step 4

Remove the barberry bush from its current pot or wrapping. Gently loosen up the root system, but do not tug on or break any roots.

Step 5

Set the barberry bush down into the hole, gently spreading the root system if possible. If you find that you need your hole a little bigger to accommodate the root system, take the time to adjust the size of it now.

Step 6

Fill the hole in with soil, tapping it down gently, but firmly, over the roots.

Step 7

Water the barberry bush again, with the same amount of water that it took you to fill up the 2 inches of the hole earlier, and if any soil sinks down into the hole, refill it and tap it down.

Step 8

Place a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch over the top of the soil, making a slight well near the bottom of the plant in the mulch. When you water the plant, pour the water into this well of mulch. You can use any type of mulch you wish, from wood chips or leaves to pine needles.

Step 9

Water the barberry bush every four days during the first month of its planting. If you are receiving a lot of natural rainfall, do not water the plant, as too much water will cause root rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost mix
  • Mulch


  • Gardening Central: Barberry Bush
  • Types of Shrubs: Barberry Shrubs
  • Greenwood Nursery: Planting Shrubs
Keywords: barberry bush, planting barberry bush, barberry bush shrubs

About this Author

A freelance writer for over 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.