Red Japanese Barberry ‘Concorde’ (Berberis thunbergii)

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Plant Details

Category: Nursery
Light: Full Sun
Bloom Season: Spring
Height: 18-24" / 
Space: 2-3' / 
Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Lowest Temp: -30° to -20°F / 
-34° to -29°C
Colors: Yellow

Basic Care

Easy to grow! Plant in any sunny location in the garden. Adapts well to a range of soils with excellent drainage. Water regularly until established.


Water regularly until established.


Adapts to most soil types.


Not necessary.

deer resistant

Deer Resistant

Fast Growth

Ornamental Foliage

Good Fall Color


A slow-growing compact variety, ‘Concorde’ leaves retain their deep red-purple color in heat. A fine choice for the landscape, offering yellow flowers and red fruit.


A classic favorite for landscape focal points. Best used in groups and shrub borders. Useful in small gardens where season long interest is needed.

Red Japanese Barberry ‘Concorde’ (Berberis thunbergii) Care Guide

Plant in spring or early fall to give plants the best start.

Choose a location that will allow roots to spread and branches to grow freely. Space plants far enough from building foundations, walls, and decks so that the growing foliage won’t crowd the structure. Consider whether tall trees or shrubs will block windows or interfere with the roof or power lines.

To prepare the planting area dig a hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. After removing the soil, mix it with some compost or peat moss. This enriches the soil and loosens the existing dirt so that new roots can spread easily.

To remove the plant from the container, gently brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot. The container can also be removed by carefully cutting it down the side.

Set the plant in the hole. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap fabric this must now be removed along with any string or wire securing the burlap. If roots are tightly packed gently rake them apart with your fingers.

Return the soil to the planting area packing it firmly around the root ball. Fill the hole until the soil line is just at the base of the plant, where the roots begin to flare out from the main stem.

Water the plant well then add a 2” (5cm) layer of mulch, such as shredded bark, around the planting area. Keep the mulch at least 4” (10cm) away from the trunk of the plant as this can keep the bark too moist and cause it to decay.

Depending on rainfall, new plants need to be watered weekly through the first growing season. A slow, one-hour trickle of water should do the job. During hot spells thoroughly soaking the ground up to 8” (20 cm) every few days is better than watering a little bit daily. Deep watering encourages roots to grow further into the ground resulting in a sturdier plant with more drought tolerance.

To check for soil moisture use your finger or a hand trowel to dig a small hole and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.

Monitor new plants through the first two years to make sure they are getting the moisture they need. After that they should be sturdy enough to survive on their own.

Pruning may be needed to remove dead branches, encourage bushier growth, promote more flowers, or maintain a specific size or shape.

Dead branches should be removed close to the trunk, flush with the bark. When pruning to control a plant’s size or shape, cuts should be made just above a leaf bud and at a slight angle. This bud will be where the new growth sprouts.

Many shrubs can be regularly sheared to keep them shaped as a hedge, edging or formal foundation planting.

Always use sharp, clean tools when pruning. There are many tools available depending on the job. Hand shears, pruners, and loppers are ideal for most shrubs. Pole pruners and tree saws are better for large, mature shrubs or trees. If a tree is so large that it can’t be safely pruned with a pole pruner, it is best to call in a professional tree service.

Established trees should be fertilized every 2-3 years. Feed in early spring when plants start growing.

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product designed for trees and shrubs, or go with a nutritionally balanced, general-purpose formula such as 10-10-10.

Always follow the fertilizer package directions for application rates and scheduling. Over-fertilizing plants or applying at the wrong time during the growing season can result in plant injury.

Companion/Combination Plants


  1. Janalee Hoopes

    I planted a Japanese Barberry a month ago and it is now July 2. I planted it in a large pot around my swimming pool 2 ft. away from it. I put mulch around it and now the leaves are starting to dry up. I water it every day with a nozzle because it has been in the high nineties and low hundreds 103 for a couple of weeks. It was a good sized bush and healthy to start with. Please help me as I am afraid I am going to loose it. I stick my finger in the soil before watering and it is just a little damp so I water it. Is it better to ere on the side of dry rather than too much water. Thanks so much. I have a hard time keeping my plants healthy when it gets hot hot and I certainly water them. I forgot to tell you that we live in Kennewick Washington which is the dry part of the state.

    • My Garden Life

      Hi Janalee,
      Does your pot have drainage holes? In those high temperatures it’s possible that the soil could be drying in the top few inches while water is accumulating just below the plant in the lower root zone (which could lead to root rot).

      Extreme heat is a huge challenge to any new planting (whether flowers, shrubs, or trees). This is why it is often recommended to plant trees and shrubs in the fall. Even after leaves drop in the fall, the ground temperature usually stays warmer than the air temperature for a while allowing roots to continue to develop and strengthen before facing the stresses of a hot summer.

      Normally we would recommend erring on the dry side since barberry are pretty drought tolerant once established, but it depends on what’s really going on with your shrub. The wilting suggests that there is something going on in the root zone that is preventing the plant from uptaking water – whether that means the roots are rotting and damaged and can’t uptake water, or the soil is too dry and water simply isn’t available (which seems unlikely in your case). The only way to know for sure is to remove the shrub from the pot and inspect the roots. If the roots look healthy, the plant may be responding to the shock of transplanting combined with the shockingly high temperatures. If possible, you might want to move the pot to a location where it gets shade for part of the day, so it’s protected from the combined stress of full sun and heat. Give it a little time to settle in and hopefully stabilize, then gradually move it back out into full sun.

      Have a close look at the stems as well to see if they look healthy. If it’s just the leaves dropping off and the stems are still firm and healthy, then there’s a good chance your shrub will leaf back out once conditions are more favorable.


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