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Orange Rocket Barberry

(40 customer reviews)

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About Orange Rocket Barberry

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' H x 1.5' W. 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!

*The Orange Rocket Barberry is a deciduous/semi-evergreen plant and will go dormant during the winter months. When this plant is ordered during the Fall/Winter expect seasonal foliage decline(discoloration, spots, leaf drop) or the plant to arrive completely dormant.*

This product can not be shipped to the following locations: HI, GU, AK, IN, MA, ME, NY,PR, VI, VT

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.

Winter Care

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fill the hole back up with your soil mixture.
  4. Gently tamp the soil down with your hands or your foot once the hole is full.
  5. Soak the new planting to help the soil and plant get situated.
  6. 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.

Spacing Recommendations

  • 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

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

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.

YouTube video

Common Name
Orange Rocket Barberry
Scientific Name
Berberis thunbergii 'Orange Rocket' PP18411
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Average Size
4' H X 1.5' W
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40 reviews for Orange Rocket Barberry

  1. Chris (verified owner)

    They jammed 6 plants in a box with little to no packaging and then refused a refund when the plants were broken and dirt emptied all out of the pots.

    • Team PBM

      Good afternoon. You were not denied a refund. Per our policy, as stated online, we require pictures be sent of any plants that customers wish to have assessed for possible replacement or refund. This request was not met on your end as of yet. - Christy

  2. Deirdre Haynes (verified owner)

    I'm pushing these guys pretty hard in my 10a environment right at the edge of 9b. I got them just as our wet season was ending, and it was drier than normal. The plants haven't given up yet so I really look forward to them perking up in these final months of their first year in the ground. I am pleased with the quality of plants by mail plants, they allow me to try growing so many things that aren't necessarily for my area because the plants are so strong upon arrival.

  3. Julie Compton (verified owner)

    Wonderful!!! I love Plants by mail. Plants are healthy and staff is very responsive to questions!

  4. sweetrock5 (verified owner)

    Great size and condition (ordered 2 gallon), very well packaged and healthy. Very happy with purchase, can't wait to see it grow and come into full color!

  5. jlkakaley (verified owner)

    This is the first year I have ordered plants online. I am very impressed with the size of the plants I received and the very careful packaging.

  6. stackm1020 (verified owner)

    Great stuff. Orange Rockets arrived dormant and ready to go in the ground. Excited to watch them flush out with new growth next season.

  7. CB (verified owner)

    Plant arrived quickly, packaged well and hopefully will survive the winter.

  8. Deirdre X Haynes (verified owner)

    Im a zone 10a with about 50% 9b winters so i got these as a total experiment. They arrived very loose in the cans which lead to a lot more root shock than i typically present to my plants so i waited a while to see how theyd settle in. The temps dropped from sweltering to just hot soon after they were planted which helped them out. Its been almost a month as i write this and they have all started to adjust to their new home. As expected ive seen very little in the way of new growth but they arent wilting, discoloring or otherwise showing signs of stress. Im excited to see them shift into a new season to steal the spotlight from the flowering plants around them.

  9. Pam (verified owner)

    Very healthy plant, but delivery not great. Plant doing well.

  10. Heather O’Brien (verified owner)

    I am very happy with my purchase of two orange rocket barberry shrubs. They arrived well packaged. They arrived healthy , and thirsty as mentioned in the included information and care instructions sheet. I gave them a generous drink as instructed and they perked right up. I planted them the next morning. That was approximately 3 weeks ago and they are definitely healthy and doing well. I am happy to have them in my garden and am looking forward to watching them grow . I am also very happy with my experience with Plants by Mail and will certainly be a returning customer. Thank you.

  11. Candy Lloyd (verified owner)

    Nice shrub that was well packed.

  12. Melanie Troutt (verified owner)

    I bought 3 of the 2 Gallon Orange Rocket Barberry back in June. They were gorgeous and so healthy! I was amazed at how healthy and beautiful they were. We are north of Atlanta and have hard clay dirt. We amended the soil with bagged garden soil and they are doing fantastic! I am hooked on ordering from plants by mail. My neighbor was so impressed as well that she plans to order from them.

    • Team PBM

      I'm so pleased to hear you discovered the way to battle the hard clay so that you can grow our beautiful plants. - Christy

  13. VeronicaMars (verified owner)

    Bought 3 of these despite my worry that they'd be too bright orange and I LOVE THEM!! I'm in zone 8b in Texas. (Wish the site would add location data for reviewers.) They are on my hellstrip where people often park in front of my house. They arrived healthy, happy, and well-packaged with minimal soil spillage. I prefer smaller plants because I can dig smaller holes in my hard clay soil, but the 2 gallon size was all they had available. The plants were large and healthy! They've been in the ground for a month or so now and they're doing fine with little help from me. We did have lots of rain (unseasonably wet) for the past 2 weeks so I'll just watch and water as needed for my hot Texas summer. I will probably buy a couple more, actually. I love the color of the leaves, which is more burgundy than orange... almost a dark mauve to me. Thank goodness for Jim Putnam's video, which is why I decided to purchase. Love them!

  14. Lee (verified owner)

    Excellent service. Fast shipping, great packaging, excellent communication. I would order from them again without hesitation.

  15. hippygardener (verified owner)

    I ordered four (4), and while they are all alive and well as far as that goes, they all look pretty rough. Not at all as pretty of a plant as is pictured. They will grow out just fine, but you could let your barberry growers know to at least try a little to send out all similar sized plants on the same order. One is considerably smaller than the rest. I'm excited to finally have these since I cannot find them locally anywhere. But it's going to take them a while of growing before they look nice. One of the plants that was shipped looks like when they potted it up they didn't even add any soil, just dug up the plant and plopped it in the pot to ship.

    • Team PBM

      Thank you for your review. Although we do try to send in similarity of size, sometimes its just not possible. We do guarantee healthy and happy plants get sent out. The size will have more to do with the container you choose to purchase. All plants grow inside their containers and are not transplanted by us. Sometimes dirt can be lost during transport. If you have any other concerns or questions I am happy to assist anytime. Have a blessed day. - Christy

  16. MONA (verified owner)

    I would highly recommend Plant by Mail. My Plant arrived quickly and was very very healthy.

  17. Lisa W (verified owner)

    I was very skeptical when I saw the box they came in. But, they are beautiful, healthy and packaged perfectly. Will order again. Love them!

  18. TinaC (verified owner)

    I was skeptical, but now I'm a believer! Ordered (7) Orange Rocket Barberries from Plants by Mail and am extremely pleased with the quality of the plants and the customer service I've received! I will definitely be placing more orders.

    • Team PBM

      I'm so happy we could win you over. Many blessings Ms Tina - Christy

  19. Kitten13 (verified owner)

    Quick delivery, ready for the blooming. Thank you, Christy for the plant advice.

  20. chdahlke (verified owner)

    Quick delivery. I'm anxious to see how they leaf out and grow this spring!

  21. Sherry Evans (verified owner)

    Arrived in good condition and will see how things appear in the spring.

  22. fulmerwillis (verified owner)

    Incredible color! The red foliage really pops in front of our gold ligustrum. The narrow, upright form makes it the perfect plant to fill small gaps in the garden. I plan to order three more soon.

  23. Lisa Olson (verified owner)

    I ordered four of these. They arrived in the best shape I have ever received mail-order plants in. The plants are beautiful and so healthy. We have lots of deer and they haven't touched them which is a huge plus. Very satisfied with Plants by Mail, we would absolutely order from them again for sure

  24. Brendan (verified owner)

    So far, so good. Planted these a few weeks ago and they seem to be taking. Desperately needed some deer resistant shrubs and these fit the bill. Will check back in end of summer

  25. JON EMBER (verified owner)

    I purchased 3 of these and these are not drought tolerant, not heat tolerant nor sun loving. The 90 degree heat with the direct sun we have had for several days burns up these orange rocket barberry and result in them losing their leaves and resulting in dead branches. If you can save the branch the leaves come back green? Nothing like other barberries I have had before. These need some shade and water every other day when hot. Very disappointed with my purchase and my purchase was based on the features above since I was planting them in a west direct sunlight locations and based on the stellar reviews. I question if these other reviewers did not have any problem with the 90 degree heat???? Hopefully, I do not have to nurse them all summer and every year. I should have just purchased them at Home Depot since the one I purchased there is doing fine.

  26. liz ferrari (verified owner)

    Great purchase,on time and good quality.

  27. Marilyn Stemen (verified owner)

    Plant is beautiful. Arrived fresh and well packaged. It is planted and appears to be doing great. Very pretty little splash of color.

  28. pampease17 (verified owner)

    I purchased 2, and I am VERY happy with my choice. They came in great condition, and are a nice addition to my landscape!

  29. Ann Granack (verified owner)

    Wonderful looking plants! The only down side for me is the thorns. However, since they do have thorns, this would be a wonderful specimen to plant under the windows of a foundation. They have such an array of colors I just had to have a few though! Arrived fast, packed well and I never would have guessed they traveled at all. Thanks so much Plants by Mail!

  30. michael.lozito (verified owner)

    Wonderful , healthy , beautiful plants. arrived very quickly, very well packaged. we bought 40 of these for sloped area. excellent customer service and plants.

  31. Amy Anderson (verified owner)

    Beautiful plant, very satisfied with the packing quality and shipping. This was my first order with Plants By Mail, and this positive experience far surpassed other online plant orders I placed.

  32. Leah Ratzel (verified owner)

    Very pleased with the condition of the plants, the quality of the packing and shipping, and also how bright this particular variety is.

  33. Bernadette

    Very pleased with delivery. Will order again.

  34. Bernadette

    Was very pleased. Plants arrived in great condition. Will order again.

  35. vbluemoon513 (verified owner)

    Very satisfied, the plants arrived in good condition, and are beautiful!

  36. cmorrison123 (verified owner)

    Very pleased with the Orange Rocket Barberry, and especially the packaging and the delivery. I planted these to mark my driveway entrance and they look marvelous. Looking forward to their maturing.

  37. Raoul L. Denis (verified owner)

    Very satisfied with the plants beautiful


    I wasn't expecting this bush to have thorns...that's the only surprise other than that, it is beautiful

  39. gokay

    awesome plant

  40. Sandra Smith

    Beautiful, colorful shrub. Arrived in good condition. Very satisfied with purchase.

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