The Orange Rocket Barberry from the Southern Living Plant Collection elevates gardens to new heights! During spring, young foliage emerges as a vivid coral. This soft foliage matures through Summer becoming an eye-catching scarlet-red. Afterward, it features one more color change before the winter sets in. You’ll see the scarlet-red leaves age to an elegant ruby red. This adds even more vivid red hues to your fall landscape. Like most Barberries, this variety features small sharp thorns on the branches.
Once established, this fast-growing plant proves itself to be quite hardy. It’s also drought tolerant. In fact, its low-water requirements make it perfect for Xeriscape gardens.
It grows in a column-like shape that reaches around 4 feet tall and 1 ½ feet wide. This vertical growth habit presents unique opportunities in the landscape. Horizontal growth steers the eye over a landscape. Vertical growth gives the eye a reason to pause. This allows the viewer to absorb the colors and textures of the scene presenting itself.
This barberry shines as a border, slope plant, mass planting, or in a container. Mix in a few as accents in a foundation planting. They’ll take your home’s curb appeal to the next level!
Orange Rocket Barberry Care
It’s hardy from USDA Zones 5-9 once fully established. At that point, it can withstand temperatures between -20° and -15° Fahrenheit. It will lose all of its leaves for the winter after a couple of hard freezes. New leaves will emerge in spring.
Choose a location in Full Sun to Part Shade for best results. At least 3 hours of direct sunlight is important for your plant to grow.
It handles sandy to poor to rich quality soils as long as it is well-draining. Soggy soil with poor drainage generally leads to root rot.
Water 2-3 times per week for the first few months after planting. This will allow it to establish deep roots, where it will be able to draw water in times of drought. After establishing itself, though, the Orange Rocket Barberry needs little supplementary water.
This is a very cold-hardy plant. It requires little supplementary winter care above the ground once it goes dormant.
Gardeners in colder zones should consider mounding a few inches of mulch at the base of the plant. This protects the roots over the winter. Be careful to ensure that the mulch isn’t resting against the trunk of the plant, as that can lead to rot.
If your plant begins to flush with new growth in early spring watch out for unexpected freezes. If this occurs, cover your plant overnight with a tarp or blanket. New growth is susceptible to frost damage.
How to Plant the Orange Rocket Barberry
- First, find your planting spot and dig a hole three times the width of the pot that your plant came in.
- The hole should be deep enough that the top of the plant’s root ball is even with or above the ground around it by 2-4 inches.
- Mix your native soil with some rich garden soil or composted manure. This provides more nutrients for your growing plant.
- If your soil is clay-rich, we recommend mixing pine bark in with your native soil. A 1:1 ratio of bark to soil will improve drainage and soil aeration.
- Fill the hole back up with your soil mixture.
- Gently tamp the soil down with your hands or your foot once the hole is full.
- Soak the new planting to help the soil and plant get situated.
- If planting in spring, apply a slow-release balanced fertilizer. This will promote new growth throughout the year. If planting in fall, fertilize with a rooting fertilizer. This encourages root growth and prepares your plant for the next growing season.
- For hedges or mass plantings, plant each bush 1 foot apart. This will create a seamless mass of orange and red foliage. In winter, you’ll have a dense group of seasonal dormant branches.
- For space between shrubs plant them 2+ feet apart. This is good for mixed garden beds where you want a plant’s shape to shine through.
Popular Companion Plants
- It’s easy to create bold mixed gardens with this plant. Try it with plants that have bright colors. We recommend the Everillo Carex, the Sunshine Ligustrum, or Lemon Lime Nandina. Also, check out this mixed container garden project from Southern Living Plants.
- Plant it with dark purple plants like the Purple Diamond Loropetalum or Purple Daydream Loropetalum. They’ll bring out the best in each other thanks to their contrasting foliage.
- We also love the look of planting them with some Dwarf Alberta Spruce and Gold Mop False Cypress. This is a great combo for Northern gardeners. All three are very cold-hardy and have contrasting colors, textures, and growth habits.
Frequently Asked Questions
“Is the Orange Rocket Barberry Evergreen?”
No, there are both deciduous and evergreen Barberries, but this variety is deciduous. So, it will drop all of its leaves, and wait for the return of warm weather. On the plus side, this means it’s able to handle cold better than many evergreen plants. The bare branches also create an intriguing winter-scape texture feature.
“Does it have thorns?”
Yes, most varieties in this species have small sharp thorns. We recommend wearing gloves when removing them from their pots. There is a good side to this, which we will cover in the next frequently asked question.
“Are they Deer Resistant?”
Yes, they are! This is where those little thorns come into play. If you’re a deer looking for a snack, would you want a mouthful of sharp thorns? Certainly not, and deer feel the same way. For this reason, this is one of the most deer-resistant plants around.
Why Buy Orange Rocket Barberry Plants Online from PlantsbyMail.com?
It’s our responsibility to pick and ship healthy plants to your front door. And we take this responsibility very seriously. Our plants are well-rooted in their pots and ready to take off in your landscape. If you’re not happy with your order when it arrives, contact us! Reach us at 1-866-618-5659 or send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll do whatever we can to make it right.