The Orange Rocket Barberry from the Southern Living Plant Collection takes landscapes and gardens to new heights! During spring, young foliage emerges as a vivid coral. This soft foliage gradually matures through Summer becoming a showy scarlet-red that truly ‘pops.’ Afterward, it features one more color change before the winter sets in. You’ll see the characteristic scarlet-red leaves age to an elegant ruby red, adding additional 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 and is noted as being deer resistant. Additionally, low water requirements make it perfect for Xeriscape gardens.
It grows in a column-like shape that traditionally reaches around 4′ tall and 1 ½ feet wide. This naturally vertical growth habit presents unique opportunities in the landscape. While horizontal growth can steer the eye over a landscape, vertical growth gives the eye a reason to pause and absorb the colors and textures of the scene presenting itself.
This barberry shines as a border, slope plant, mass planting, or in a container. The characteristically bold foliage and vertical habit allow this shrub to create unique and interesting contrasts too. 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 will be able to withstand temperatures between -20° and -15° F. After a couple of hard freezes, it will lose all of its leaves for the winter. 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 properly.
It handles sandy to poor to rich quality soils as long as it is well-draining. Poorly draining, perpetually wet soil will generally lead 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 to protect 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 and you get an unexpected freeze, 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 slightly above the ground around it.
- Mix your native soil with some rich garden soil or composted manure to provide additional nutrients for your growing plant.
- If your soil is clay-rich, we recommend mixing pine bark in with your native soil at a ratio of about 1:1 to 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 to promote all-around growth through the year. If planting in fall, fertilize with a rooting fertilizer to encourage root growth and prepare your plant for the next growing season.
For hedges or mass plantings, plant the bushes 1-1.5 feet apart. For space between shrubs plant 2+ feet apart.
Popular Companion Plants
- It’s easy to create bold mixed gardens with this plant. Try it with brilliantly colored plants such as the Everillo Carex, the Sunshine Ligustrum, or Lemon Lime Nandina. Check out this mixed container garden project from Southern Living Plants featuring the Orange Rocket Barberry.
- Plant it with some darker purple hues like the Purple Diamond Loropetalum or Purple Daydream Loropetalum. They’ll really 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 because 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. Therefore, it will drop all of its leaves, and wait patiently 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 thanks to their upright nature.
“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 at 1-866-618-5659 or send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll do whatever we can to make it right.