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How to use barberry in landscaping: planting and grooming lessons

How to use barberry in landscaping: planting and grooming lessons


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Ornamental hedges and individual barberry shrubs are quite common. The most suitable territories for growing a plant are the Caucasus, Crimea, regions with a mild climate. But barberry is unpretentious and with proper care it equally tolerates winter cold and summer heat, takes root on poor soils. Barberry is versatile. Shrubs are used in landscape design, fruits - in cooking, folk medicine. Having picked up a combination of varieties, you can create picturesque compositions on the site. So, everything about barberry: planting and care, original ideas for decorating the landscape.

Description of shrubs of the genus barberry

Plants of the genus barberry are treelike shrubs about 2-3 m tall, widespread in the wild. Due to its beautiful appearance and beneficial 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 associated with the fact that the petals of the barberry resemble shells in appearance. The flowers are golden yellow, collected in inflorescences or clusters. The smell of flowers is strong and pleasant. The beginning of flowering of barberry is in May-June. The crown is spreading. Shoots arched away from the main trunk. The leaves turn purple in autumn, making the barberry beautiful at any time of the year.

Fruits can 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 inner parts of the plant. This color, astringency and acidity of the fruit are the reasons why the barberry is called the northern lemon. Spines are modified leaves, similar in shape to tridents. Thanks to its powerful thorns, barberry is widely used as hedges. The crown is formed by trimming.

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

The Crimea and the Caucasus are considered the birthplace of the plant, but it grows almost everywhere, except for areas with an extremely harsh climate. Best of all, barberry develops in areas that are well lit by the sun. It also grows well in the shade, but there are problems with fruiting. The plant is drought-resistant, tolerates frosts without consequences, but can die on waterlogged soils. With excessive watering or frequent rains, the powerful root system begins to rot. The shrub is planted singly, in groups, in the form of hedges. Low-growing varieties are suitable for decorating rocky hills. 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. There are several main types, each of which often has more than one form:

  • common barberry;
  • Amur barberry;
  • arberry canadian;
  • barberry Thunberg;
  • barberry Ottawa;
  • Korean barberry;
  • whole-edged barberry;
  • ball-bearing barberry;
  • barberry monotonous.

Common barberry

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. Bears fruit in the fourth year of life. The most popular are three types:

  • Atropurpurea. Hardy barberry with bright yellow flowers and edible purple fruits. The leaves of plants grown in well-lit areas become bright purple in color. When propagated by seeds, not all descendants inherit the color of the leaves.
  • Albovariegata. The shrub grows up to 1 m high. The leaves are dark green in color with streaks.
  • Aureomarginata. The peculiarity of this barberry is the variegated color of the leaves. The plant is light-requiring. In the shade, it loses the intensity of the color of the leaves.

Barberry leaf color is unique, it can vary depending on the type of reproduction and the place of growth of the shrub

Amur barberry

The homeland of the plant is the Far East and North China. In addition to these territories, it grows in Primorye and Japan. In the wild, it is found on river banks, forest edges. Outwardly, it is very similar to common 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 autumn they turn yellow or take on a purple hue.

  • Japonica. This is a variety of Amur barberry, distinguished by a beautiful shape of leaves - 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 peculiarity is the absence of flowering. The height of the shrub is about 1 m.

In autumn, the Amur barberry bushes are extremely picturesque.

Barberry canadian

In nature, the shrub grows on the rocks, banks and river valleys of North America. Flowering time - late May - early June. The shrub is unpretentious, winter-drought-resistant. It blooms and bears fruit very intensively. Outwardly, it resembles an ordinary barberry. On the territory of Russia, it is almost not popular, but in America for more than two centuries, gardeners have been paying much attention to the cultivation of decorative forms of shrubs. Most often planted hybrids:

  • 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 the Thunberg barberry. Differs in exceptional endurance, disease resistance. The flowers have an original color - bright yellow with reddish spots. Leaves can be red, orange, purple. Fruits are yellowish. With good care, the shrub reaches 2-3 m, gives good growth, quickly recovers after pruning. Most often, gardeners choose decorative winter-hardy varieties:

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

The flowers, yellow with red spots and purple leaves, have a strong effect. Ottawa barberry is an ideal material for a landscape designer

Korean barberry

A variety of shrubs got this 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 droughts well, but can suffer from waterlogging during periods of long thaws. Korean barberry can freeze in cold weather, but, as a rule, only the tops of the shoots are affected. After pruning, the shoots grow back quickly. The plant is susceptible to rust. Flowers are yellow, fragrant. The fruits are round, red.

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

All-edge barberry

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

The number of flowers of whole-edged barberry in brushes reaches twenty!

Ball-bearing barberry

It is also called multi-legged barberry. Distributed in the mountainous regions of Central Asia. The fruits are spherical, have a blue-gray color, and are widely used in cooking. They are added to pilaf, shurpa, barbecue. A distinctive feature of the fruits of the ball-bearing barberry is a high content of vitamin C. In addition to valuable fruits, the shrub has a spectacular appearance. The flowers are collected in small inflorescences and have a strong odor. In winter, the plant can freeze and needs shelter. With excess moisture, it can hurt. The shrub is especially popular with gardeners in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan.

The ideal soil for growing ball-bearing barberry is considered to be gravelly, limed

Monet barberry

His homeland is Central and Central Asia. The 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. Leaves are small, oblong, green, may have a bluish tint. The shrub tends to freeze in frosts, does not belong to winter-hardy, but it tolerates heat well. So that the root system of the monetaris barberry does not rot, it is necessary to monitor the amount of moisture and provide drainage. Waterlogging can result in rust and death of the plant.

Monet barberry tolerates drought well, but easily blows out in a rainy summer

Barberry 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 merits. Thunberg barberry is widely used in landscape design. Usually 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, red or coral red in color. They look very nice, but they should not be eaten.

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

This list is far from complete. It lists only the most beautiful and widespread varieties of Thunberg barberry. All of them are great for decorating the site. For more details, see the video:

How to decide on the choice of a variety?

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

Application in landscape design

Barberries are ideal for decorating rockeries, hedges and lawn framing, 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 by combining them with other types of shrubs. Barberries are used both as the main background and as contrasting accent zones.

Dwarf varieties decorate the edges of flower beds and lawns. The shrub perfectly protects flowers and herbs from trampling. Some gardeners use low-growing barberries to decorate the foot of large trees. It looks very picturesque. They are also used to decorate Japanese gardens.

Barberry is often planted as a hedge. The thorny bush serves as a reliable protection of the site and looks beautiful. The hedge can be left in its original form, or you can trim it at your discretion. Barberries with erect branches keep their shape well. You can form a rounded crown. The video explains how to cut a fountain-shaped barberry.

When and how to plant barberry correctly?

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

To propagate a barberry with a cuttings, it is carefully cut off, planted in fertile soil on a lawn or indoors, watered and waited for roots to appear. The finished seedling is transferred into open ground along with the soil from a flowerpot.

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. He is taken out of the ground, separated, seated. In this case, the bush quickly takes root and begins to bear fruit.

Barberry is not picky about soil. The main thing is that it is not flooded, and the chosen place is well lit. The shrub should be planted in the sun or in partial shade. For single bushes, holes are dug 0.5x0.5x0.5 m.

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

Sequence of work:

  • 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.
  • The planting should be well watered.
  • The last stage is mulching the soil with sawdust or leaves.

As you can see, everything is pretty simple.

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

Shrub care: watering, feeding, pruning

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

The plant should be watered only during periods of long droughts. Enough 2-3 times a week. Be sure to cut off old and dry branches. If desired, you can make haircuts for the shrub to form the crown. Such procedures are carried out 2-3 times per season.

Experienced gardeners recommend treating shrubs from pests. Most often it is affected by aphids and flower moths. The problem is solved using a 0.2% phytoverm solution. If the barberry is struck by powdery mildew, use a foundationol solution (20 g per 1 bucket of water). A frequent attack is rust, it is fought with a 1% solution of Bordeaux liquid.

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Young gardener course: planting and caring for barberry

Barberry belongs to the barberry family, it is a shrub that will find a place in any garden and will become its decoration thanks to the unusual color of foliage and red oblong fruits. It is to him that we owe the appearance of the famous "barberry" lollipops, which taste like the fruits of this plant.

The shrub can reach a height of up to 3 meters, it is thorny, so it is used not only to decorate the garden, but also as a lively impassable hedge.


Most popular varieties

If most plants always have common features between varieties, then the barberry refuses to follow the general rules. Its subspecies differ in color and shape of leaves, color of fruits, shape and height of the crown, not everyone even adheres to the habit of dropping leaves. Some plants are so different that it's hard to believe they belong to the same species. But each of them is beautiful in its own way.

Photo gallery: varieties of barberry Thunberg

Tini Gold can be recognized by the characteristic yellow-green foliage. Kobolds tend to form a wide, dense crown Erecta (erect) got its name from the clear vertical position of the branches Aurea is very similar to Tini Gold, but has longer shoots.

Among the most popular varieties of barberry:

    Thunberg.On the basis of this species, many varieties have been bred with noticeable differences: Aurea, Kobold, Erecta, Tini Gold, Admiration. As a rule, these are low bushes (1–1.5 m) with small oblong-oval leaves. The crown of the Thunberg barberry is very decorative: green in summer, and red, orange, yellow or purple in autumn. The shoots themselves acquire a purple color, so the bare bush also looks beautiful. In addition to its decorative qualities, the Tundberg barberry is also distinguished by its unpretentiousness to air quality (which is important in megacities) and soil, as well as drought resistance. The bright scarlet berries are attractive but inedible. This variety is most popular in the Moscow region, the Aurea variety is well suited for the Urals,

Admiration is one of the few varieties of the Thunberg family with red-pink or red-orange leaves

Against the background of varietal counterparts, an ordinary barberry looks modest, but it can be transformed with the right haircut and care

One of the distinctive features of the Amur barberry is pink berries

Auricoma is one of the most unusual varieties, because the foliage of this barberry is not red, but almost purple

Photo gallery: varieties with red crown shades

Columnar bushes of Red Pillar will help out when creating a landfate composition with clear verticals Looking at the scarlet shoots thrown up, it is easy to guess why this barberry was called a red rocket. This shrub with a wide branching crown is really capable of covering the ground with a red carpet. In favorable conditions, the crown of the Red Chief takes on a deep burgundy hue

Breeders are also developing new varieties of barberry based on Korean, whole-edged, ball-bearing, monetary and other species. But now the assortment is so wide that only from these plants it is possible to create interesting memorable compositions.

Video: different varieties of barberry in the same garden


Description of barberry and photo

The genus Barberry includes more than 580 species of shrubs and small trees, distributed mainly in the middle and southern latitudes of the Eurasian continent and North America. Among them there are tall and undersized, evergreen and deciduous species.

The branches of the barberry are covered with oval (sometimes lanceolate) leaves with a very short petiole and therefore "sitting" very close to the shoot. In addition to the leaves, the shrub is also covered with thorns (modified leaves).

On young shoots, the leaves are located singly, and at the age of more than a year - in bunches of 4-7 pieces. Depending on the variety, the color of the foliage can be either traditional light green or yellow, purple or other red shades. In addition, some varieties have leaves with contrasting specks, spots, or borders. For example, the Kelleris variety has green leaves with white blotches, while the Golden Ring variety has purple leaves with an orange border.

A feature of some species is a spectacular change in the color of the foliage with the onset of autumn. Green-leafed varieties acquire a golden-saffron hue, and the purple crown turns red like the dusk sun. In spring, barberry is completely covered with inflorescences of small bright yellow, and sometimes red-orange flowers, which exude a strong sweetish aroma and are wonderful honey plants. They are so attractive to bees that there is even a special type of honey - barberry.

Varieties of barberry are also very diverse in their growth. Some are real spreading giants, up to three meters tall, others are compact babies 30 cm high. The former look beautiful in single plantings, and the latter will decorate any alpine slide. There are also a huge number of intermediate options.

In addition, barberry is a shrub that perfectly tolerates formative pruning, so you can always give any type and variety the required size and shape.

This feature is especially important when forming hedges, for which a spectacular and unpretentious barberry is the most successful choice. In such landings, you can show all facets of your talent as a designer, the main thing is to provide proper care. In addition to decorativeness, barberry also performs a completely utilitarian function. Its berries are used to prepare a wide variety of desserts: jelly, jams, jellies and pastilles.

In some national cuisines, the fruits of barberry are pickled and served as an original flavoring note for meat, rice or vegetable dishes. The most suitable for culinary purposes are the berries of the common barberry.


Watch the video: Going rogue: The story of Japanese Barberry


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