Growth Facts

Crimson Pygmy Barberry
Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy'
Deep purple-red leaves bring rich color to sunny beds and borders all season.
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Super-popular… and it’s easy to see why! Crimson Pygmy Barberry adds a formal element to your landscape with its compact, rounded shape, but it also delivers a joyful burst of color. In spring, the small, round leaves emerge in hot red tones, eventually settling down to a deep burgundy. In autumn, they turn a fiery red once more before falling. Use this petite plant—a part of our Perfect Accessories program—to create color spots in your entryway garden, patio plantings, or mixed borders. Planted in a row, Crimson Pygmy also makes a sharp-looking low hedge or bed divider.

Growth Facts

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The Story

Japanese Barberry is known for its thorny branches, which make it useful for planting where you want to keep out intruders. Deer and rabbits likewise tend to leave this prickly plant alone, preferring to munch on less challenging menu items. What is really exciting about JapaneseBarberry, though, is the bountiful variety of sizes, shapes, and colors it now comes in. It has come a long way from the plain green type normally found in the wild! Crimson Pygmy Barberry originated in a nursery in the Netherlands in 1942. It is still the most plentiful Japanese Barberry on the market today.

The Details

Crimson Pygmy Barberry naturally assumes a rounded shape, growing somewhat wider than tall. It needs very little pruning to remain tidy, but if you want to keep the plant smaller or even more perfectly shaped, you can easily shear it once or twice a year.

How to Grow

Grow Crimson Pygmy Barberry in full sun to bring out its richest colors. Shade will make the leaves turn green. Choose a site where the soil drains freely, as this plant will not tolerate “wet feet.” It needs regular water during the establishment period, but will be quite drought tolerant after that. Prune as needed to keep stray branches from spoiling the tidy appearance of this formal element. Japanese Barberries have become invasive in some states. Check with your nearest extension office if you have questions about the status of Barberries in your area.

Size Guide

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