Barberry plants are easy to plant and grow. Pruning them might be a bit trickier, as they have spiny edges covering them. If you are looking for a hardy plant with colorful foliage, barberry might be right for you. It comes in varieties with everything from red to lime-green leaves. It grows well outdoors throughout the southern regions of our country. Be sure to check the growth characteristics of the particular variety you are planting, so it will be planted in the appropriate place in your garden.
Select an area in your garden that will receive full sun or partial sun and is large enough to house the barberry plant. Some varieties can reach a height of 6 feet with a width of the same size. Smaller varieties only reach a height of 2 feet with a 2-feet spread.
Amend the soil with organic matter if your soil is lacking or is too sandy. Work in peat and manure or compost into the area where you will be planting the barberry bush. Though they are quite tolerant of different soils, they will grow best growing in a rich soil medium that properly drains.
Dig a hole that is three times wider than the barberry plant’s root ball but not any deeper than the plant is growing inside of the container. It will weaken the plant if you place it deeper in the soil than it is used to growing.
Place the barberry bush inside of the planting hole and fill it up with soil halfway. Stomp on the soil inside of the hole to firm it up and get rid of any air pockets that might be remaining. Fill up the remainder of the hole with soil and stomp on it again.
Water the barberry plant well after it has been planted. Be sure to water the plant deeply at least twice per week for the first year the plant is in the ground. Keep the ground moist but not flooded.
Fertilize the barberry bush with a general purpose fertilizer such as an 8-8-8, one month after the plant has been in the ground. Follow up with fertilizer two times per year, usually in early spring and late summer.
Prune off any dead wood or prune to keep the barberry plant’s shape, as required.