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Barberry: How to Grow Berberis thunbergii

Berberis are deciduous evergreen shrubs that grow in subtropical and temperate regions. Commonly known as barberry they are found in North America, Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Most have vicious spines on shoots, colored leaves, require full sun and partial shade. The shrub is hardy, prefers clay soil, sandy or slightly dry soil. It needs partial shade, low maintenance and perfect for gardens. It can grow in a pot or container has very colorful foliage.
berberis
mahogany

berberis
Facts about Berberis
The leaves of the Berberis thunbergii vary based on variety. The leaves are green in spring, red summer. Some have purple leaves that turn dark purple or red. The flowers emerge mid spring are yellow giving the plant a striking appearance.
The flowers are produced singly have six petals, six sepals. The fruit is a small berry 10mm long, red or dark blue when ripe. It is a perfect hedge plant and its origin is traced to eastern Asia, japan.
The dwarf variety grows 49cm high while regular ones attain 5ft and spread of 1.5m. They will not do well in alkaline or acidic soil. However the bush is tolerant of different soil types.
The soil should be moist, well drained and nutrient rich. The hardy bush are able to survive short draught conditions including low temperatures of -25C. To control the spread and encourage faster growth pruning is essential. They are rugged, pest and disease resistant.
Simple Fact about Berberis thunbergii
         They have Colorful Leaves
         Flowers are yellow
         Average height 5ft and spread of 1.5m
         They tolerant of different soil types
         Avoid acidic or alkaline soil
         They require full sun
         They prefer moist well drained soil
         Can survive short draught, low temperatures
         Prune appropriately
         Hardy and resistant to pests and diseases
berberis
Uses of Berberis
They are an important ingredient in Iranian food and contain vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc. The crop is edible but present a sharp acidic flavor and used for culinary purposes. Berberis are used to flavor poultry meat, they are dried, used in jams sweets, or soft drinks.
The garden shrubs or good ornamental plants. The dried fruit is used in traditional herbal medicine. Traditional herbal applications are for anti-inflammatory treatment, anti-fungal and anti-bacteria products.
Uses
         Iranian cooking
         Flavor poultry meat
         Dried
         Used in jams
         Sweets
         Soft drinks
         Garden shrubs
         Good ornamental plants
         Traditional herbal medicine
Varieties of Berberis
There are different types of Berberis to consider. Recommended types are Berberis darwinii, Berberis red jewel, Berberis thunbergii-Golden Torch, Berberis thunbergii-Dart’s Red Lady.
Types
         Berberis darwinii
         Berberis red jewel
         Berberis thunbergii-Golden Torch
         Berberis thunbergii-Dart’s Red Lady
How to Grow Berberis thunbergii
Berberis is a popular garden shrub with blue-black or red berries and yellow leaves. Commonly planted as hedges, pedestrian walkways or barriers. They are dense, bushy with vicious spines on shoots making them an effective barrier against predators and burglars.
It does not require special knowledge to grow Berberis in your garden. They are hardy can tolerate cold temperature and resistant to pests and diseases. The first step is to buy the Berberis from nurseries or garden centers. You can also purchase them from online growers.
The best period to row them is March to April. The bush grows well in partial shade or full sun areas. Select the spot and make sure the composition is devoid of alkaline or acidic soil.
Once you have the young plant dig hole twice the width of the rootball. Then add calcium rich powder into ground. Place the plant in soil, backfill to depth of the pot/container. Tamp the oil around the rootball to firm the soil and water immediately.
How to Grow Berberis in Container
Use a container with drainage holes and fill with potting medium. Use spring or semi-hardwood and Cut 7 inch of Berberis stem, remove bottom leaves or clip bellow node.
Add growth hormone to bottom portion and dip the stem into hormone powder. Pick the berberis cutting in small hole of the potted mix. Then move the pot out of direct sun.
Water to keep moist and control moisture evaporation. It takes three months to grow 3 inches. Once rooting is established move rooted cuttings outside. Provide direct sun or partial shade for the plant.
Planting Berberis in Container
         Fill container with light textured growth medium
         Container should have drainage holes
         remove bottom leaves
         add growth hormone to bottom portion
         dip the stem into hormone powder
         dig small hole of potted mix
         avoid direct sun
         Transplant outside 3 inches
How to Care for Berberis
Maintenance is very low because the shrub is hardy and can grow in difficult terrain. Mulch and add organic material for faster growth.  Once roots are establish they require very little water but add calcium boost once a year.
Clean the surrounding areas by weeding or clearing dead leaves. They grow easily in containers but soil should be kept moist. However they have a tendency to harbor wheat rust that could devastate other crops.

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