Q:

How do I care for a red barberry bush?

A:

Quick Answer

Red barberry is a tough, drought-resistant plant that grows well in desert environments such as the American Southwest. Caring for this plant requires proper placement in the landscape, as well as pruning, mulching, and fertilization.

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Full Answer

Even though red barberries are heat-loving plants, people who live in areas that have hot summers should place their barberry bush where it gets a bit of shade during the afternoon. Avoid planting it in damp, low-lying areas where rain water has a tendency to pool. Established bushes will be able to withstand periods of hot, dry weather, but damp and wet conditions may kill red barberry plants.

Keeping red barberry plants mulched will help protect their roots from temperature extremes in both summer and winter. Fertilizer should be applied at the first sign of new growth in the spring, and reapplied every 4 to 6 weeks until fall.

Pruning is also an important part of taking care of a barberry plant. It should be pruned in the early spring before new growth begins to emerge. Branches that were damaged by wind and weather should be removed, and the bush should be pruned into a roundish shape. This is very important during the first 2 years to ensure that the plant grows to be as bushy as possible.

Those who take proper care of their red barberry bushes will be rewarded by a floral display comprised of bright yellow flowers during the spring.

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