Plant Finder Connection
Crimson Pygmy Barberry
Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy'
Crimson Pygmy Barberry
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Other Names: Japanese Barberry
The most popular dwarf cultivar, loved for its reddish-purple foliage all season long and extremely compact, rounded habit; excellent for color contrast, especially when used in groups
Crimson Pygmy Barberry is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The fruits are showy scarlet drupes carried in abundance from early to late fall. It has attractive burgundy deciduous foliage. The small oval leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding dark red in the fall. It features tiny clusters of yellow flowers hanging below the branches in mid spring.
Crimson Pygmy Barberry is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Crimson Pygmy Barberry is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Crimson Pygmy Barberry will grow to be about 30 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Crimson Pygmy Barberry makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It can be used either as 'filler' or as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, depending on the height and form of the other plants used in the container planting. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our experts for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.
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