Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Full of ADMIRATION for this Blazing Barberry

 A showstopper with a blaze of red foliage set off by golden leaf margins, Admiration Barberry (PP16921) holds its vibrant color throughout the season.  Initially new leaves are a flaming coral-red with bright golden edges, and by late summer the oval leaves mature to a purple-red contrasted with the yellow rims. Plant Admiration in full sun to produce the best color when vivid foliage colors are desired.

Although a dwarf, this low-maintenance shrub is very strong and bushy with a compact rounding growth habit. Admiration Barberry reaches only 12-15 inches tall in 4 years, (ultimately 2 feet x 2 feet, untrimmed). Any trimming is best done in early spring. A true dwarf that will not outgrow the site, Admiration Barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Admiration') is a low maintenance shrub that is hardy to USDA Zone 5.

Landscape designers often select shrubs that contribute accent colors to the landscape and red foliage plants are one of the most popular additions. Admiration Barberry creates a spectacular display of stunning color in a garden border, is ideal for banks and slopes as well as for large containers.  Use additional plants that compliment red shrubs to set off this barberry.

Admiration Barberry tolerates a wide variety of  soil conditions and withstands dry periods, although during establishment it does need a moderate amount of water.  Northeastern gardeners will be happy to learn that Admiration is non-flowering, therefore the plant does not set viable seed and invasiveness is a non-issue with this cultivar.

Statistics Chart for Admiration Barberry, PP16921, Berberis thunbergii 'Admiration'
Plant Category:
Deciduous woody shrub
Mature Height:
 12 inches after 4 years; a true dwarf ultimately reaching only 2’ x 2’
Mature Spread:
 15 inches
Mature Form:
Compact, bushy woody ornamental shrub  with a compact, rounded growth habit
Remarkably dense, compact, multi-branched dwarf ornamental
Outstanding color form, new growth is coral red with golden leaf margins, maturing to wine red leaves with golden yellow rims
Growth Rate:
Sun Exposure:
Sun for outstanding leaf color
Soil Type:
 Sand, loam or clay,
Soil Moisture:
Well-drained soils; drought resistant once established
Flower Color:
 It’s a bonus that this cultivar is non-flowering and does not set seed; thus eliminating any misgivings about invasive spread in the Northeast
Landscape Value:
Brilliant accent color contrasts with green of typical landscapes
Deciduous; drops leaves in late fall, November
pH Level:
5 – 7 ?
4 – 8
U.S., Hybridized by Andrusiv; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2005 Greenleaf Nursery Selection, Park Hill, OK  ?
When performance counts, use Garden Debut® great new plants    
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