‘Orange Rocket’ Barberry – by Steve Huddleston

Here’s an award-winning, easy-care deciduous shrub with colorful foliage that makes a striking addition to any landscape.

‘Orange Rocket’ barberry brings drama to its corner of the North Texas landscape. Click image for larger view.

The foliage of ‘Orange Rocket’ starts out as a vibrant coral or orange in the spring, ages to medium green or even holds its orange color in the summer, and then turns a rich ruby color in the cooler weather of fall. These colors make ‘Orange Rocket’ very noticeable in the landscape.

It is one of many plants in the Southern Living plant collection (www.southernlivingplants.com).

It’s curious that foliage that starts the growing season as a coral-orange shade shifts to rich ruby-red by fall’s cooler weather.
Continued Below

What you’ll want to know…
Scientific name: Berberis thunbergia ‘Orange Rocket’
Family: Berberidaceae, or barberry family (along with mahonias, nandinas and our native agaritas)
Native to: Japan
Size: 48 in. tall and 18 to 24 in. wide
Hardiness Zones: Zone 5-9 (all of Texas)
Sun preference: Full or partial sun
Soil preference: Amended clay, loam, sandy and silty soils with pH 6-7.5
Requires good drainage, but does best with uniform moisture (not dry)

Continued Below

Fertilizer requirements: annually in spring with turf-type, high-nitrogen food with half of nitrogen in slow-release form
Pruning: Is naturally compact.
Should require only occasional trimming to remove errant branches.
Landscape uses: Border, hedge, massed planting, or single specimen. Also as “thriller” plant in large patio pots.
Combines well with junipers, Sunshine ligustrums, ornamental grasses, yuccas, and lantanas.
Warning: Stems have small spines (as do most barberries).

Posted by Steve Huddleston
Back To Top