Warty Bayberry lost its color

gramat(7B)June 13, 2009

Two years ago I purchased a beautiful flaming crimson and bronze barbery. Although the leaves were really thorny (like a holy) it was so gorgeous, I couldn't resist. So I put it in a container to be displayed on my patio during the fall. After that first fall, the leaves have never been that crimson/bronze color. It looks healthy enough though slow growing. It's just a thorny, dangerous plant. Does anyone know how I can get the color to come back. It's this plant's only redeeming quality.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Warty barberry is an evergreen shrub that sometimes turns partly reddish etc. The basic color is green. Yours may be getting a different light exposure or experiencing some other difference in conditions that is keeping it green only. Plant it out in the garden or give it to somebody and try something else in the pot.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 2:06PM
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I grew a whole hedge of this for several years; it got too big (4x4 feet even with regular pruning) so I removed the hedge. I think this plant would need a large container to do well for years. It does have a yellow, nicely scented bloom in spring.

Warty barberry is a fairly common commercial landscape plant in Portland and does reliably get a red speckled appearance in fall/winter, but I've never seen a showy one.

If you like a rich orange bloom in spring, consider the newer dwarfing Darwin barberry. It is not so coarsely thorny, and could do well in a pot long term.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 1:41AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

What new dwarf Darwin barberry would that be? Are you thinking of its hybrid, B. x stenophylla? Dwarf forms of that are on the market. None of those I have seen here are new introductions.

B. darwinii is hardy to somewhere around 10 degrees F. I had damage on Camano Island this past winter.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 12:13PM
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It was new to me at the Canby grower's show in May 2008. My memory was that it was labeled as a dwarfing Darwin barberry. It was a dead ringer for the full-size, except for somewhat smaller foliage and the fact it was covered in blooms and well-branched while less than a foot tall.

But it is more likely to have been the 'Corallina Compacta' variety of B. x stenophylla as you mentioned, I just had darwinii on the brain then and now.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 1:45AM
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