Daybreak® Barberry

Berberis thunbergii 'Daybreak' (PP# 23,747)

2 Reviews

Daybreak® Barberry

Berberis thunbergii 'Daybreak' (PP# 23,747)

2 Reviews


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Daybreak Japanese Barberry is a great new addition to the range of barberry plants with colored leaves. It begins the season in warm tones of orange-red, passes the summer in cool golden yellow, and ends the season with stunning fall shades of reds and oranges. It stays a compact 18 inches tall and wide, never needing trimming to keep its rounded, mounding form. It is hardy all across the country except for the very coldest and hottest areas, and it needs no care to always look handsome. Using colored foliage is a modern way to bring continuous color to your garden, and with this easy-care plant you get not one, but three complete color changes in a year. With its compact size, it is a great choice for the smaller garden, and in larger gardens it can be planted in groups to bring bold swaths of color to your plantings. Because it stays small, it is also an easy and dramatic way to fill out planter boxes and pots, even if you have no garden at all.

  • Three foliage color changes for constant interest
  • Orange-red in spring, yellow in summer and red in fall
  • Thrives in any ordinary sunny garden
  • Free of pests and diseases and not eaten by deer
  • Number one choice for easy gardening

Plant your Daybreak Japanese Barberry in a sunny place in any soil that is not always wet. Once established it is drought resistant and hardy right down to minus 30 degrees. It has no pests or diseases and deer will normally stay well away. It needs no trimming to keep its compact, mounded habit, simply expanding annually until it is fully grown. For easy gardening and bright colors through three seasons, this has to be your first choice.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-8
Mature Width 1-2
Mature Height 1-2
Sun Needs Full Sun
Zones 4-8

Barberries are great garden plants – hardy, easy to grow and colorful. The Daybreak Japanese Barberry is a recent introduction that has created a whole new color range in barberry bushes, on a compact plant that can be used alone in a small garden or even a planter box, or grouped with other shrubs in a larger garden. Plants with colored foliage are a big part of the modern trend towards making colorful gardens without relying on flowers – which are often a short-lived feature on a plant that is plain green for the rest of the year. By using plants with colored foliage instead of, or as well as flowers, we can brighten our gardens from early spring to late fall with broad strokes of permanent color.

The Daybeak Japanese Barberry is a wonderful new plant whose colorful foliage can bring season-long color to every garden. We have a good supply of this plant, but we know how very popular these plants are, especially when they are recently introduced. If you want to enjoy colorful leaves on an attractive, low-maintenance plant, order now and avoid the disappointment of that ‘sold out’ sign next time you visit.

Growing Daybreak Barberry Bushes

The Daybreak Japanese Barberry starts in spring with orange-red new growth to brighten the garden after the dreary days of winter. The leaves change their color to golden yellow as summer arrives, and stays bright and cheerful all summer. Then with fall they take on rich tones of deep oranges and reds to end the year with a flourish. All this color from just one bush makes it an ideal plant for smaller spaces, where every inch counts and must deliver over a long period. This is a dwarf shrub, and it will grow just 18 inches tall, and the same across, making it ideal for smaller spaces. It has a naturally dense, mounded habit and needs no trimming to always look attractive.


The Daybreak Japanese Barberry is hardy right across the country, from zone 4, with winter temperatures down to minus 30, all the way into zone 8, which covers the whole country except for the very coldest and hottest areas. It will grow well in almost any kind of soil, as long as it is well-drained, it has no significant pests or diseases and it is not eaten by deer. What more could a gardener ask for?

Planting Location

Plant your Daybreak Japanese Barberry in a sunny location, as a single plant or in groups of 3, 5 or 7 plants, spaced about 15 inches apart, to create a swath of bold color. It will grow well in any garden soil, as long as it is well-drained. During the first year water it regularly, but after that it will survive normal summer dryness with no problem. It grows quickly into a broad mound of stems, with small, rounded leaves. It does not normally flower or produce seeds, so it will never spread or become a problem with seedlings sprouting up, as some plants can do.

History and Origins of the Daybreak Japanese Barberry

Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) has been popular ever since it was introduced into America in 1875 at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, from its home in Japan and China. There are several forms with colored foliage, and at the Tree Center we offer a wide range, from the purple foliage of ‘Crimson Pygmy’ and the rosy-pink of ‘Rose Glow’, to the bright yellow of ‘Aurea Nana’. Indeed, it would be possible to create wonderful sweeps of color across the garden using nothing but this amazing plant, with its leaves of many colors.

The Daybreak Japanese Barberry is a new introduction from 2012, selected from a batch of seedlings by the alert eye of the famous American plant breeder Michael Dirr. This great plant can be added to the long list of his introductions, all of which have greatly enriched our gardens. This patented plant is produced under license, so we know that cheaper seedling plants will be nothing like it, and if it doesn’t say ‘Daybreak’ it isn’t what you are looking for.

Back to top

Daybreak® Barberry

Berberis thunbergii 'Daybreak' (PP# 23,747)

2 Reviews