Colored foliage is always welcome in the garden, and when a plant has the dynamic and vibrant coloring of the Rose Glow Japanese Barberry, it is doubly welcome. This unique variety of barberry combines ease of care with uniquely-colored leaves in shades of purple, rose-pink and bronze. This vibrant color combination really makes for a plant that stands out in your garden, yet it needs almost no care to perform well virtually anywhere. It will grow steadily to around 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, so it is the perfect plant to brighten your midground planting – those plants between the larger shrubs and trees and the smaller plants, often flowering ones, that we use in the front of our beds. It is big enough to turn into an attractive hedge too – one that will be a sturdy barrier, since this plant also has protective thorns.
Growing Rose Glow Japanese Barberry Bushes
The Rose Glow Japanese Barberry is a deciduous shrub that begins the season with new leaves that are a rich purple color. The new growth that is then produced is rose-pink, mottled with bronze and purple. That purple color gradually takes over the leaves as they mature, while the continuing new growth during the season continues to be rose-pink. By fall the plant has become a mix of purple and bright-red leaves, for a grand finale. These shifts produce a vibrant, constantly-changing color effect, making this one of the most useful shrubs for bringing lots of color to a limited space.
Uses in Your Garden
The young stems are purple, maturing to brown. The leaves are in clusters along the stems, rather than individual leaves, making the plant dense and bushy. At the base of each leaf cluster there is a sharp spine, which makes this plant a great security addition too. Planted beneath windows, or in strategic areas where intruders could enter, it will deter even the most determined. As a hedge, it is totally impenetrable. In normal use in the garden these spines are not a problem, but do not plant too close to walkways and areas where people frequently pass by.
Colors and Berries
In late spring the Rose Glow Japanese Barberry produces small yellow flowers among the leaves. These are often not noticed, but in fall, when the last leaves have dropped, the clusters of bright-red berries that follow these flowers become a great winter feature, and are attractive to birds too, bringing them into your garden for you to enjoy. With its attractive colored foliage from spring to fall, and berries in fall and winter, this truly is a four-season plant, with something attractive to see at any time of year. This is especially important in a smaller garden, where every plant has to make a big contribution to the garden.
Plant your Rose Glow Japanese Barberry in a sunny or very lightly shaded location. The best leaf colors will develop in full sun. It will grow well in any garden soil that is well-drained, and it is hardy to minus 30 degrees, as well as thriving in all but the hottest parts of the country. There are very few parts of the country where this plant is not reliable, hardy and easy to grow. It is resistant to pests and diseases, and it is generally not bothered by deer, because of the spines on the branches. Water your new plants well during the first year, but once established it will tolerate drought well.
History and Origins of the Rose Glow Barberry
Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) first appeared in America in 1875. It had been brought from it natural home in China and Japan to the famous Arnold Arboretum in Boston. It quickly became very popular as a hardy garden shrub, and over the years numerous varieties with colored leaves were developed by gardeners. At the Tree Center, we offer a wide range, from the purple foliage of ‘Crimson Pygmy’ and the orange-reds of ‘Day Break’, to the bright yellow of ‘Aurea Nana’.
The variety ‘Rose Glow’ originated in the Dutch nursery area of Boskoop, where it was introduced in 1957 by J. Spaargaren. It is a long-established and reliable variety that has been awarded a Certificate of Garden Merit by the prestigious British organization, the Royal Horticultural Society. Our plants are grown from stem pieces of the correct variety, so you can be sure that you are not getting cheap seedling plants. You will love the Rose Glow Japanese Barberry for its colorful foliage and red winter berries, as well as the easy way it grows without any work from you. Of course, our other customers love it too, so although we have a good supply of quality plants, order now to avoid being disappointed.