Sunjoy® Todo BarberryBerberis thunbergii ‘NCBX1’ (PP# 29,504)
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The Sunjoy® Todo Barberry is a new dwarf barberry, and a breakthrough, because it is semi-evergreen and holds its rich burgundy-purple leaves all year round. It never fades to green, and this reliable plant is less than 3 feet tall and wide, so it is perfect for edging beds or paths, for mass planting in the foreground of large beds, or for a colorful specimen in the smallest garden. It is also ideal for planters and pots, and since it keeps its leaves in winter, those pots will always look great on your patio or terrace. In spring it is covered in bright yellow blooms, which develop into seedless red fruits, loved by birds but unable to spread the plant into natural areas.
The best leaf colors on the Sunjoy® Todo are seen when the plant is grown in full sun. Too much shade will turn them more greenish. Plant in any well-drained soil, including poor and dry soils, or in ordinary garden conditions. Avoid wet, badly-drained areas. This plant is free of pests and diseases, and deer and rabbits avoid it. It needs no trimming to stay neat, dense and rounded, but it can be trimmed into tight shapes or hedges if you want to.
*This variety produces little or no viable seed, so it cannot become invasive. It is safe to grow even where Berberis is restricted.
Barberries might be the perfect low-maintenance shrubs. Dense and compact, many have fabulous leaf colors, and they come in lots of colors, all of them gorgeous. Some are taller, but for a compact form, for edging, smaller beds, or wherever you need a rounded plant under 3 feet tall, look no further than the Sunjoy Todo™ Barberry. With its rich purple glossy leaves and dense, compact form, it needs no trimming to stay neat, and it brings its wonderful coloring to your beds all year round, because it is semi-evergreen, holding most of its leaves right through winter.
But there is more – this plant has the pretty golden yellow flowers and red berries of old-fashioned barberry, but those berries have no seeds in them, so this plant can’t spread at all – it has been university tested to prove it. If you gave up growing barberry because they are invasive, then welcome back, because this one is gorgeous, and absolutely safe to grow anywhere.
The Sunjoy Todo Barberry is a semi-evergreen shrub less than 3 feet tall. It has a dense, rounded form that is always neat, and it needs no trimming to stay that way. The many branches grow from the base of the plant, keeping it always dense, and the tiny thorns at the base of the leaves make this plant ideal for an impenetrable barrier. The smooth rounded leaves are just ½ to ¾ of an inch long, and perfectly in scale with the small size of this bush. They have a smooth, glossy surface and they are unfailingly always a bright, rich burgundy-purple you will love, without ever fading or greening. Most barberry bushes are deciduous, losing their leaves in fall, but this one is unique, because it keeps most of its leaves, especially the younger ones at the ends of the stems, all through winter. This means that great color is yours throughout the year, not just seasonally.
In spring, shortly after new growth starts, a host of small, bright yellow flowers open in clusters of 3 to 8, hanging all along the stems. This display is colorful, lasting about 2 weeks, and 1,000 flowers on a single bush is common. The flowers are followed by small, elliptical fruits that turn bright red in fall. Insects visit the flowers, and birds love the berries, so this plant is a wonderful magnet for wildlife. Yet the berries contain no viable seeds, so they cannot be spread by the birds to invade surrounding natural areas – something that has led to a ban on growing many types of barberry in some states. University tests have confirmed this, and you can grow the Sunjoy Todo Barberry safely, anywhere.
For a rich accent of color in your beds, this is the plant you need. Its reliably, constant color makes it a solid anchor in your designs, and one you can trust will always be there. It is excellent for edging larger beds, or along a path or driveway, and also for xeric gardening, as it is very drought resistant. Its compact size makes it ideal for planters and boxes, where it would look terrific blended with yellows or pinks.
The Sunjoy Todo Barberry is hardy across a large part of the country, from zone 6 to zone 8. It is possibly hardy in zone 5 as well, but there it will probably lose its leaves in winter.
Plant your Sunjoy Todo Barberry in full sun, as this will keep its color rich and strong. Too much shade will cause some greening of the leaves, especially deeper inside the bush. It grows well in any well-drained soil, including poor urban soils and sandy soils. Once established it is very drought resistant and grows perfectly in those hot, exposed and dry places that can be so hard to find plants for. Avoid wet, boggy areas, but otherwise, this tough plant will grow anywhere.
Pests and diseases don’t bother the Sunjoy Todo Barberry. Deer and rabbits leave it alone. Once planted this is a bush that will stay in your garden and be a reliable and durable part of it, without needing care. Some water during a long, extended period of drought, especially when young, would be appreciated. The neat, compact form means that trimming is optional, but for extra neatness, trim as needed. Early spring, before the new growth begins, would be an excellent time to tidy it and shape it as required. It can also be trimmed in late spring and through early summer.
Because of the problem of Japanese barberry spreading into natural areas, there has been a big push by plant breeders to develop seedless, non-invasive forms. Dr. Thomas Ranney, a researcher and breeder with the Horticultural Science department of North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, is one of them. He began with an interesting older semi-evergreen hybrid barberry called ‘Red Jewel’. That plant was created in the 1950s in the Netherlands, and it involved an even older hybrid from 1926 between two Chinese barberry species (Berberis gagnepainii and Berberis verruculosa) and the Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii. Dr. Ranney took pollen from a Japanese barberry called ‘Concorde’, which doesn’t produce seed, and used it to pollinate his plants of ‘Red Jewel’. In the summer of 2005, he studied the seedlings he had produced, and chose one. He called it `NCBX1`, and it is that plant we know today as the Sunjoy Todo™ Barberry. It was patented in 2018, and it is the latest in the Sunjoy series of colorful dwarf barberry bushes, released by Proven Winners®.
Look no further than the Sunjoy® Todo Barberry for a safe, rich purple barberry for your garden. The demand for these safe, non-invasive plants is far outstripping the supply, so this plant will soon be gone from our farm. Order now, while we can still satisfy you, and bring the beautiful and colorful barberry back into your garden.