Planting Barberry

Barberry plants are flowering shrubs that display colorful foliage during the fall. These deciduous bushes have a branched structure and a full form. Barberry shrubs need to be planted in a good location and require some attention for the first growing season. Established Barberry plants do not need much care. Pruning and fertilizing are not mandatory, but the plants respond well to this care and will thrive.


What You Need To Plant Barberry

  • Shovel
  • Compost or manure
  • Garden spade
  • Good location
  • Water source
  • Mulch

Where to Plant Barberry

Plant Barberry so the top of the root ball is even with the ground level. Avoid planting the shrub lower than the surrounding ground, so water will not pool. This bush is not picky about soil quality and can easily grow in poor- or average-quality soil. The soil must promote drainage because Barberry plants do not like soggy conditions. Plant in full sun for best growth.


Barberry Spacing

Barberry bushes reach about 5 feet tall and wide once mature. Space the thorny shrubs about 3-4 feet apart to create a hedge or border. Plants should be spaced 3 feet away from other plants and buildings. This plant is a vigorous grower that spreads by offshoots and berries.


Steps To Plant Barberry

Choose a spot that receives full sunlight to plant a Barberry shrub. The foliage needs lots of direct light to thrive and put on a vibrant display during the fall. Once you have found a good location, dig a hole twice as large as the root ball. Mix organic compost or manure into the soil. When the soil is ready, position the root ball in the prepared hole and backfill it with the native soil. Press the soil into place and water the ground above the roots thoroughly.

Step 1 - Select a sunny spot

Step 2 - Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball

Step 3 - Amend the soil in the hole with organic compost or manure

Step 4 - Place the root ball in the hole so the top is even with the surrounding ground

Step 5 - Backfill the hole and firmly press the soil into place

Step 6 - Add mulch and saturate the soil with water

When to Plant Barberry

Barberry is a perennial shrub in zones 4 through 8. This bush can be planted during the spring or the fall. Plant Barberry shrubs in the southern reaches of its growing zones during the fall. Planting during the fall gives the bush time to settle in before the growing season starts in

 the spring. Plant Barberry during the spring in colder regions. Bushes planted in the spring may not flower the first year, but the plant will acclimate during the first growing season and be ready to go by the second year. 

Transplanting Barberry

Move Barberry by digging up the entire root ball and relocating the plant in the spring or the fall. Barberry naturally spreads by sending out offshoots or self-seeding. New plants can be removed from the parent plant when they are several inches tall and moved to a sunny spot where there is room for them to grow.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 02-11-2023