Question: My barberry isn’t very colorful. It starts out bright coppery red, but, by the summer, it’s more of a rusty green. Is there some kind of fertilizer I should be adding?
Answer: That’s not nutritional. As it gets hotter, the pigments that give the red color take a back seat to the chlorophyll. Farther north, where summers are cooler, the colors hold better. You also should check the amount of sunlight they receive. If they’re tucked back under deciduous shade trees, that could account for their being brightly colored in early spring, before the trees leaf out fully, then losing their reddish color once they’re plunged into shade. They need full morning sun. They do need shade in the afternoon, however, to prevent leaf scorch and burn.