The variegated Japanese barberry features deep burgundy leaves splashed in candy-pink and vanilla. (Richie Steffen)

The variegated Japanese barberry features deep burgundy leaves splashed in candy-pink and vanilla. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea ‘Rose Glow’

The variegated Japanese barberry features deep burgundy leaves splashed in candy-pink and vanilla.

What: Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea “Rose Glow” is a fast-growing, compact shrub that bursts out in new growth each spring. The variegated Japanese barberry features deep burgundy leaves splashed in candy-pink and vanilla. This colorful show lasts through the growing season and end in fall with an autumn color of bright red, orange and golden yellow. “Rose Glow” has pale yellow flowers that hide among the leaves in mid-spring followed by bright red fruits that hang on bare branches into winter.

Where: This colorful barberry has it brightest foliage in full sun to light shade. It prefers a well-drained soil and will tolerate sandy and clay sites.

Size: “Rose Glow” grows to be 6 feet tall and 7 feet wide when mature.

Care: Once established, it will only need occasional watering during dry weather, although in sandy soils regular watering may be necessary to prevent drought damage. Deciduous barberries can become congested over time. Manage their growth by removing inward-growing or crossing branches and a few of the oldest and most twiggy branches during the winter. Avoid planting it where its thorns can catch litter from overhead trees.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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