Barberry Thunberg: photo and description. Growing, varieties
The article presents Barberry Thunberg: photo and description, guidance for care, cultivation, characteristics of varieties.
Barberry Thunberg: photo and description
Barberry is a fairly large family that includes a huge number of ornamental plants that are cultivated in large quantities all over the world. However, of course, the most famous representative of this family is the well-known genus Barberry, among the species of which truly incredible specimens can be distinguished.
One of them will be discussed in this article, and it is called, as you probably already guessed, Thunberg's barberry. This species grows mainly in the far east, from where it successfully migrated to our area. In addition, it is incredibly actively grown in Europe and even in the Americas.
Simply put, absolutely all over the world this species is considered, if not the most, then at least one of the best types of barberry, and it is valued for its amazing decorative properties and other qualities, which you will learn about by reading this article.
Barberry Thunberg: photo and description of planting, care
The plant blooms in late spring (mid-May)
Planting can be carried out either in the spring (before the active movement of juices begins), or in the fall, but exclusively until October.
The need for lighting in this type of barberry differs from variety to variety, however, it can be noted that those varieties that have bright red or burgundy foliage especially suffer in the absence of bright and constant light. On the other hand, those with green leaves grow quite successfully in partial shade.
The soil should be not only light, but also marshy, which means that it must contain peat.
The plant is extremely unpretentious to watering, which can be attributed to its biggest advantages, and therefore it is extremely rare to water it. More active watering is carried out only in case of prolonged and dangerous drought.
Top dressing is best used exclusively organic, since when using mineral fertilizers, without calculating the dose, you can cause the appearance of very unpleasant and extremely serious ailments in the plant.
Barberry Thunberg does not need pruning at all, and therefore you should not worry about this procedure at all. However, you, as a good and attentive gardener, should still watch for damage to the branches and, if possible, remove those that are hanging from the bushes with dead weight.
Reproduction is carried out in one of the following ways: division, cuttings, layering, seeds or shoots. All of them are quite effective, however, there are still favorites.
Problems are most often provided by multiple pests, among which, of course, common garden aphids and moths can be distinguished.
Among the diseases, one can single out those that most often bring trouble to the owners of the Thunberg barberry, namely, different types of rust, powdery mildew, spotting and rot.
Barberry Thunberg: description of the plant
Thunberg barberry is a medium-sized deciduous shrub that reaches a height of no more than two and a half meters. However, this is the height the plant manages to achieve in the wild.In order to achieve the same results on the farm, you will have to work very hard. In any case, on average in gardens, barberry grows up to one and a half meters.
The branches of the plant are very branched, and therefore it compensates for the small growth of the plant by how wide and lush it is. Shoots are not only of different sizes, but also of different colors. Thus, there are orange, red or even bright red shoots.
However, they do not retain this color forever, and therefore over time, when the shoots grow and become stronger, they change their shade to brown or dark brown.
Even the buds of this plant look quite decorative: they have an ovoid shape and are painted in incredibly bright reddish-burgundy shades. The leaves also boast of how beautiful they look. Their shape is very neat and geometrically correct, and their color varies.
In length, the leaves of the Thunberg barberry reach up to three centimeters, and in width - no more than one centimeter. In addition, the color of the front and the bottom of the plate is significantly different, which makes its appearance even more interesting and unusual.
In autumn, the leaves, like most other plants, turn yellow. However, with some initial colors, they may not turn yellow or even orange, but red.
As for the flowers, they are very similar in shape to ordinary bells. They are painted in a yellowish tint, and inside they shimmer with red spots. Most often, there are quite numerous inflorescences of these crumbs, which reach no more than two centimeters in length and no more than one in diameter.
Nevertheless, it is quite possible to find single specimens on the Thunberg barberry. In their place, over time, fruits are formed, which, in fact, we call barberry. These fruits have an elongated shape and are painted in an incredibly bright coral shade. In length, they reach about a centimeter, and ripen most often in September. However, weather conditions may lead to a later October ripening.
If we talk about the decorative qualities of the plant, it should be noted that gardeners simply adore the natural shape of its crown, which, as we have already said, is formed due to the incredibly branched branches of the barberry.
Also, many revered this plant for how bright it is and how much it diversifies the landscape of the garden.
In addition, let's not forget that decorativeness is far from the only good quality of Thunberg barberry. The fact is that it is especially winter-hardy, and this is an incredibly important characteristic, without which it is almost impossible to survive in the conditions of our severe frosts.
Speaking about the safety of a plant, one should not forget that its immune system is incredibly well adapted to the diseases that we listed above, and therefore you should not be afraid of them.
How to plant Thunberg barberry in the ground
The first thing your acquaintance with this plant will begin with is, of course, a landing net, and therefore it is very important to ensure that this procedure is performed correctly and in accordance with all the rules. Otherwise, your further relationship with the barberry may not work out, the bush will grow sluggishly and bear little flower.
When to plant
First of all, of course, it is necessary to determine the timing, since they play far from the least role in the successful and long life of the barberry Thunberg. As you already know, after reading the brief description of caring for this plant above, this barberry prefers to be planted in the spring, and before the juices begin to move, or in the fall, but before it gets too cold outside.
This is done so that a young plant seedling has more chances to take root in a new place and does not have any problems with its natural cycles, which may well be disrupted if the above deadlines are not met.
Where to plant
Naturally, as soon as the question of when to plant is resolved, the next one arises - but where to plant a young seedling of Thunberg barberry. It depends, first of all, on what variety you have purchased.In the event that your barberry has very bright red leaves, it should be planted where the sunny day will last as long as possible, and the sunlight itself will be the brightest.
As for those varieties that have green or, at least, foliage close to this color, they do not need so much sunlight, and therefore, when planting them, it is quite possible to choose a semi-shaded place.
However, lighting is far from the only factor to consider when landing. One should not forget, of course, about the soil, which must be light and saturated with peat. If you want to cook it yourself, you should adhere to the following recipe: you need to mix turf, sand and humus in this ratio: two to one to one, respectively.
How to plant Thunberg barberry
Of course, the choice of the right place and time for the procedure is not limited to the Thunberg barberry planting operation, and after that you will have to carry out direct planting, which is divided into several stages, which we will now consider in detail.
The first type is digging a hole into which our young seedling will be planted. In order for him to feel comfortable in his new place of residence, you must make sure that the hole corresponds to the size of half a meter by half a meter.
It is very important to maintain a distance between adjacent levels, since if you do not do this, the root systems of two barberries can collide with each other in the struggle for nutrients, and their crowns will interfere with each other's normal growth and development. Therefore, the distance between the two holes should be approximately one meter.
However, this rule does not apply to dwarf varieties, for which it is necessary to maintain a distance of half a meter.
After the hole is dug and ready for planting a seedling in it, you should first fill in a layer of sand on its bottom, the thickness of which should be equal to ten centimeters. After that, the pit should be filled with a pre-prepared substrate, which is made according to the above scheme.
You should have a small slide on which the seedling will be placed. This should be done in such a way that the roots are evenly distributed over the slopes of the slide you created. After this is done, all the remaining cavities are also filled with a substrate, and the soil that will fill the hole is well compacted and compacted. This is done so that the seedling is not disturbed by gusts of wind. However, you need to compact the soil carefully so as not to damage the root system of the small barberry.
Now that the seedling is in the soil, it remains to carry out several procedures that will significantly help it adapt to the new conditions. First of all, we are talking, of course, about watering. We also strongly recommend that you resort to the mulching procedure, which will help not only retain moisture in the ground, but also protect your plant from the invasion of snails and other crawling parasites. In addition, the mulch protects against weeds.
Until the seedling begins to grow very actively and finally adapts to the conditions of your garden, it should be watered every ten days.
Caring for planted barberry
As you may have noticed, having studied the procedure for planting this wonderful plant, caring for it is not a time-consuming task at all, which very much attracts novice gardeners. Indeed, caring for the Thunberg barberry is an incredibly simple task that absolutely anyone can cope with, if, of course, they follow the instructions that we presented below.
Watering and feeding
First of all, you should remind you of what has already been said earlier in the brief instructions: the plant does not need ultra-frequent watering and dressing at all, since it does not have overestimated requirements for the amount of nutrients consumed.
In addition, we will even say something that may well confuse some readers: in the event that a serious and life-threatening drought is not observed for the plant, it may not be watered at all, since the precipitation will perfectly cope with this work on its own.
Nevertheless, if times are unfavorable for the growth of the plant, care should be taken to ensure that watering is most effective. First of all, you need to build a small partition around the hole, which will not allow water to flow away. This will allow you to use one hundred percent of the water that you give for irrigation.
You can also dig a little bit of soil within this partition, but you should keep in mind that the resulting depression should in no case be too deep, as this can lead to excessive filling of the root system with moisture and, as a result, the appearance of root rot.
As for the water itself, there are certain requirements for it, which, first of all, include its high enough temperature, which guarantees you that the plant will not "catch a cold". Also, the irrigation procedure includes loosening the soil, which is mandatory upon its completion, since it is when the soil is moist and loose that it is easiest to remove the weeds that have appeared.
Speaking of fertilizers, it should be noted that the plant does not react very well to all kinds of mineral supplements, since it is incredibly acutely affected by an excess of minerals.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you stock up on any organic matter that will allow you to carry out the most efficient and least risky procedure for feeding Thunberg barberry. As such fertilizers, compost or humus are excellent, but peat, for example, can be used along with them.
This procedure, as we have already said, is completely optional for the Thunberg barberry, since he himself copes with the control of his crown and does not need its artificial regulation. However, there are a few situations where you might actually want to trim the crown of a barberry.
For example, if a plant grows too long branches that interfere with its neighbors, they can be easily shortened to an acceptable length that cannot harm anyone.
Pruning for decorative purposes is also possible. For example, if you want to give a bush a certain shape, you can also resort to pruning, but this can be done only with good knowledge and preparation, since cutting too much can damage the plant a lot.
However, there are also micro-procedures for mandatory pruning, which in no case should be bypassed, and they include the removal of old or damaged branches and shoots that exclusively interfere with the barberry growing normally.
How to protect the Thunberg barberry
The most dangerous pest that affects almost all garden, ornamental and garden crops is aphid. The danger of this insect lies in the fact that it is absolutely impossible to hide from it: no matter how hard you try, you absolutely have it in your garden, and at the first opportunity it will absolutely try to eat your plant.
However, we gardeners are incredibly lucky that it's pretty easy to get rid of aphids, and you don't even have to resort to using chemicals. It is enough just to thoroughly treat the plant with soapy water, and the insect will most likely lag behind. However, it may also happen that there are too many aphids, and a simple soapy solution will not ward off her.In this case, you will have to use an insecticide.
Also, an insect such as a moth can become a rather unpleasant guest on your barberry. It, if not tracked in time, can cause much more significant and serious damage than aphids, if not spotted in time, but it is still quite easy to defeat this insect. To do this, you will have to resort to using a drug called chlorophos.
However, in very advanced cases, even the aforementioned drugs cannot fully cure the tree from adversity, and therefore you will need to use one of the many existing acaricides.
Most often, this plant exhibits such an unpleasant disease as powdery mildew. It is very common from among almost all plants and is dangerous because it is caused by a fungus and does not make itself felt for a very long time.
The first symptoms, which are white bloom on foliage and stems, as well as general fatigue and lethargy of the plant, will appear some time after infection, and therefore the plant will have a rather long time to develop, which means that you must act immediately. To do this, you can spray the plant with a solution of colloidal sulfur, which copes well with such fungi.
However, unfortunately, it is far from always possible to respond to an infection in time, and therefore the consequences of the plant's actions are noticed after there is no chance of salvation. In this case, all you can do is prevent the disease from spreading further in the garden. To do this, the infected barberry must be dug up and burned.
Spots are also an incredibly unpleasant complex of diseases, which, however, are much easier to detect than powdery mildew. We hope that there is no need to explain the reasons for this, because it is already clear that numerous spots on the surface of a plant cannot mean anything good.
The disease develops rather slowly, but very surely: over time, small spots that form on the surface of the plant turn into large holes, and the leaves and stems begin to wither and fall off.
You can fight the infection by using a solution of copper and water. Spraying for fidelity is carried out several times: before and after flowering, since there is a great chance that the weakened immunity of the plant will not be able to cope with the infection if it returns to it again.
Also, we must not forget about the removal of diseased shoots, because without this you will not be able to overcome the disease. You can only delay it for a while, but the very focus of infection will not go anywhere and will continue to do its dirty tricks.
There is also a rather unpleasant, but still not very common disease, which is characterized by the appearance of orange and yellow spots on the surface of the plant. It would seem that this is a fairly standard process that constantly occurs in the fall. However, there is one thing: if it starts in the spring, it definitely needs to be treated.
This disease is called rust and getting rid of it is quite problematic. The consequences of the disease lead to the fact that the leaves of the plant dry out ahead of time and fall off, which is incredibly bad for the amount of energy that the barberry receives.
The best way to overcome the disease is not only to remove the affected tissues, leaves and branches, but also to sprinkle the barberry with Bordeaux mixture, which, by the way, is a fairly universal medicine against various fungi. However, it is in the fight against rust that it shows its true effectiveness. After a few weeks, the treatment must be carried out again, since a single spraying will give absolutely no result.
How to propagate Thunberg barberry
As you already know, there are several ways to propagate this plant, each of which is considered to be quite effective and efficient.However, some of them are much more convenient and easier to execute than others, and therefore they are much more preferable for beginners. You can read about which methods belong to this or that group below.
Seed method refers to those that should be performed exclusively by professionals and experienced breeders, since beginners, when performing it, will not only face a huge number of difficulties, but also will not get the desired result in the end.
The fact is that it is the seed method that is considered the least effective in quantitative terms, since more than twenty-five percent of all the seeds you planted rarely germinate, which, given the amount of labor that was invested in them, is very depressing.
However, this percentage can be increased by a procedure called scarification. Its essence lies in the fact that you slightly damage the shell of the seed, due to which the material that is inside it and which in the future should become a full-fledged barberry, it becomes much easier to germinate.
In the event that this procedure is carried out throughout the winter, the likelihood that the seeds will sprout very well in the spring is extremely high. Nevertheless, the process of seed propagation, of course, does not end with the germination of seedlings. It continues after two to three years, when the seedlings become large and independent enough to grow in the open field. It is then that they are transplanted into the garden.
Cuttings Is a much simpler process that we recommend to use for those gardeners who do not have a lot of experience in the field of plant care and want to improve their skills.
The meaning of cuttings is that you choose an almost completely lignified shoot, cut it off and use it as a planting material, which will turn into a real seedling in the future. The length of the cutting should be about fifteen centimeters, and it should also have at least three internodes.
After a suitable stalk has been selected, it is necessary to make the correct cut. For this, an exceptionally well-sharpened and high-quality knife is taken, which will make the cut even and smooth. Also, speaking of the cut, it should be noted that it must be made at an angle of forty-five degrees.
Now that you have a ready-made stalk in your hands, it will take root in the soil. This process does not take very long, but it can still be accelerated even more. For this, the cut site is treated with a growth stimulator before sticking the cuttings into the soil. However, it is advisable to make sure that the dose is not too large, since such a young specimen can react extremely negatively to a large amount of chemistry.
Another option, which differs from planting something in a pot and expecting that this very thing can be planted in the ground, is also very popular, since it is perhaps the simplest of all those presented in execution.
It is called by layering and its essence lies in the fact that you take a low-growing branch of barberry and add a little drop in it so that the tip is in the fresh air. If you take good care of the plant throughout the summer, the chances are high that the cuttings will take root in the fall and you can dig it up, giving life to a new barberry.
This method has won its love among beginners precisely because of how simple and effective it is, since the percentage of successful operations is almost a hundred, and the time spent on its implementation is hardly equal to one season.
However, there is another method, which also boasts a high germination rate and incredible ease of execution. It is called division method, and its essence, as you can understand, is quite simple.It consists in dividing an already mature bush into two or more parts.
Nevertheless, of course, this procedure is not suitable for everyone, since it involves deliberate harm to the mother plant, and when harm is done, it is always a matter of incredible care and skill.
However, if you are confident in yourself and are sure that you will cope with such a responsible task, you have no reason to refuse such an effective and simple operation.
Barberry Thunberg is an extremely numerous species, which includes a fairly large number of completely different and dissimilar varieties, each of which was bred by real professionals in their field, and therefore even among such a huge number of candidates, you can easily choose the one that will be to your liking.
Nevertheless, for obvious reason, we cannot list absolutely all varieties, and therefore, especially for you, we have selected only the best of them that will definitely find a place in your garden and you will never regret having purchased them:
Barberry Thunberg Kobold
This variety of Thunberg barberry is dwarf, and therefore its height does not exceed fifty centimeters. Its foliage is dark green, which means it can be planted in semi-shaded areas of your garden without any problems. In the fall, these leaves turn either orange or red, which looks amazing.
Barberry Thunberg Minor
This variety of Thunberg barberry is dwarf, and therefore its height does not exceed fifty centimeters. Its foliage is dark green in color, but otherwise it differs only slightly from the previous variety.
Barberry Thunberg Aurea
The height of this variety reaches eighty centimeters, and the color of its leaves is lemon yellow. It would seem that they are already painted in autumn color, but in the autumn months these leaves acquire an even more intense golden hue.
Barberry Thunberg Orange Dream
The height of this variety reaches seventy centimeters, and the color of its leaves is orange.
However, it has a peculiar "character", which is manifested in the fact that this variety has thorns.
Barberry Thunberg Gold Bonanza
This variety of Thunberg barberry is dwarf, and therefore its height does not exceed fifty centimeters. However, its width is quite large compared to its height and may well reach three quarters of a meter. Its leaves are painted in a lemon-golden hue.
Barberry Thunberg Bagatelle
This variety of Thunberg barberry is also dwarf, and therefore its height does not exceed forty centimeters, which, however, is even less than that of those varieties that we considered above. Its leaves have a rather unusual shade of beetroot, and its name is translated from French as a trinket, which is explained by the completely unimpressive size of the bush.
Barberry Thunberg Coronita
This variety of Thunberg barberry is also dwarf, and its height, as you are already used to, does not exceed fifty centimeters. However, its diameter is quite large and can even reach half a meter, which makes the bushes of this variety incredibly voluminous and lush. The leaves have an incredibly rich purple hue and yellow edging around the edges.
Barberry Thunberg Atropurpurea Nena
This variety, even if it is dwarf, still exceeds its relatives in height and can easily reach sixty centimeters. Its crown can grow up to one meter wide and has an incredibly beautiful shape, reminiscent of a pillow. The leaves are purple-crimson, and in autumn they take on an incredibly attractive red hue. The flowers also have a rather interesting color: inside they are yellowish, and outside they are bright red.
Barberry Thunberg Harlequin
The height of this variety reaches one hundred and twenty centimeters or even one and a half meters, and the color of its leaves is red, and there are small pink spots on them.
Barberry Thunberg Rosetta
This variety, like the previous one, is distinguished by its purple-red leaves and a large number of pink spots on them.
Barberry Thunberg Rose Glow
The height of this variety reaches one hundred and twenty centimeters or even one and a half meters, and the color of its leaves is white and pink. Nevertheless, this applies only to young growth, but already matured leaves are distinguished by their red-purple color, on which whitish spots can still be traced.
Barberry Thunberg Pink Queen
The height of this variety reaches one hundred and twenty centimeters, and its leaves most often take on a decorative brown hue that does not look dirty or dry at all. It, in principle, can even be described as burgundy. Nevertheless, the leaves of this variety are not at all uniform in color and numerous brighter blotches can be traced on them.
Barberry Thunberg Kelleris
This variety of Thunberg barberry is very wide, and its height-to-diameter ratio is much higher than that of other varieties. Its leaves are painted in purple, on which the ubiquitous white or creamy spots are also observed. Closer to autumn, they, of course, darken and become either pink or red.
Barberry Thunberg Silver Beauty
This variety differs in how slowly it grows. However, this is offset by the fact that he grows quite tall, up to one and a half meters. By the way, it is also one of the varieties whose width is less than its height, which also makes it quite unique. Its leaves have an interesting silvery-green hue, which transforms into a reddish-burgundy at the end of the season.
Barberry Thunberg Atropurpurea
This variety is distinguished by its special height, which can even reach two meters. Its leaves are colored purple, which, however, is understandable from the name.
Barberry Thunberg Orange Rocket
This bush is distinguished by the fact that it grows almost exclusively vertically, and therefore it may well reach one hundred and twenty meters in height, and only sixty in width. The color of its foliage is also clear from the name and has an incredibly rich and bright orange hue.
Barberry Thunberg Red Pillar
The name of this variety literally translates from English as a red column, and therefore we can conclude that it is quite high (at least one and a half meters), and its leaves are painted in bright red. In autumn, by the way, they become even redder and acquire a stunning scarlet hue.
Barberry Thunberg Golden Ring
This variety certainly overtook everyone in terms of tallness, since it reaches a height of at least three meters, and its leaves have an incredibly bright and variegated purple-yellow color. In autumn, they take on bright red hues. Also, this variety is distinguished by its fruits, which have coral red flowers and impressive dimensions.
Barberry Thunberg Helmond Pillar
This variety is also columnar, and it reaches a height of at least one and a half meters. At the same time, its width does not exceed half a meter. As for the color, then in young leaves it is red-pink, while in old ones there is a rich purple hue.
Barberry Thunberg Red Rocket
This variety also cannot be called low, since it reaches at least two meters in height. At the same time, he is not the narrowest, which is definitely counted as an advantage to him. The leaves of the red rocket are colored orange-scarlet, and in the fall they become completely orange.
Barberry Thunberg Darts Red Lady
This variety does not differ in its outstanding height and grows only up to eighty centimeters.Nevertheless, it impresses with its crown, which naturally takes on an almost spherical shape. The leaves are colored purple and turn yellow or orange in autumn.
Barberry Thunberg Erecta
This plant reaches a height of about one and a half meters. Its crown is constantly changing in width. Thus, in youth this plant is rather narrow, while in old age it reaches rather impressive horizontal dimensions. The leaves are painted in a very light green hue, and in the fall they turn yellow or take on an orange tone. The fruits do not fall off for a very long time, and therefore they are also part of the decoration of the plant.
Barberry Thunberg Vermillion
This variety has a fairly uniform height and width, which are almost always equal to each other. Most often they reach one meter. The leaves are colored green, and in autumn they turn yellow-orange.
Barberry Thunberg Green Carpet
This variety reaches no more than a meter in height, but its width can reach from one meter to one and a half meters. The leaves, as the name implies, are light green, and in the fall they become almost completely red, in contrast to the fruits, which, in turn, acquire a pinkish tint.
Barberry Thunberg Maria
This variety was bred in Poland and is a miniature columnar Thunberg barberry, since it reaches only a meter in height and almost half as wide in width. Small leaves take on a reddish tint, and as they grow older, they turn green.
There are many more other varieties, however, as you might have noticed, already at this stage many characteristics began to repeat themselves, and it is probably already difficult for you to distinguish one variety from another. That is why many varieties that are either copies of others or simply not worthy of attention were not included in this list. However, you can still check them out separately and perhaps find your own favorite.
Barberry Thunberg in landscape design
Of course, such a beautiful and decoratively attractive plant could not remain without the attention of landscape designers, who gladly began to use it in many of their projects, thanks to which this particular type of barberry can now be found on many streets and in many parks.
The most common use of this plant is to create a hedge that not only serves as protection from the wind, but also looks incredibly attractive. However, such a structure requires a rather lengthy investment in terms of time, since its construction may well take seven years.
Also, quite often this barberry is planted near the banks of rivers or any artificial reservoirs. In any case, this plant looks just great next to water. Small varieties can even be used to create live borders, which will help to delineate the territory.
Not to mention the fact that low-growing barberries can easily replace some decorative miniature flowers, such as, for example, lilies, and at the same time, your garden will not lose any beauty in it.
Barberry Thunberg is an incredible plant that not only offers you an amazingly beautiful bush, dotted with scarlet fruits and leaves of a completely different color and shape, but also does not require much effort from you in return.
Nevertheless, this shrub responds very well to good care and care, and therefore, never forget to water and fertilize it when it really needs it.
However, you have read the instructions and already know what to do with this plant and how to help it in absolutely any situation. We just have to wish you good luck.