Berberis thunbergii ‘Rose Glow’

For decades this species of berberis, or barberry, was banned from Western Canada because it was a host plant for a rust disease that affected wheat. Nursery growers and gardeners alike cheered when that ban was lifted because a new group of shrubs with all manner of attributes could now be used in the garden. ‘Rose Glow’ (or ‘Rosy Glow’) is at its peak right now. The burgundy red leaves are topped by arching sprays of pink and white variegated new foliage, and in this spring of over-adequate moisture there is no shortage of new growth! This is one of those shrubs that shows a different look in every month of the growing season.

Nuts and Bolts
‘Rose Glow’ matures at five feet tall and four feet wide, although it’s easily controlled by pruning. Best colour is achieved in full sun. The plant will tolerate drier soils once established but thrives with regular watering. Autumn foliage is a brilliant orange-red, and inconspicuous yellow flowers produce small bright red berries which persist through winter. Berberis ‘Rose Glow’ is winter hardy to -30 deg. C.

Plant it with
‘Rose Glow’ can be used in several ways in the garden. It makes an outstanding low hedge; the small thorns found on the stems make it prickly enough to keep any intruder at bay (and also make it unpopular with deer). Mass them together on a slope, use them as a border or barrier, plant them in groups among other flower shrubs or in mixed borders with perennials. The variegated foliage combines with blues, purples, pinks, whites or reds so there is no shortage of dance partners for ‘Rose Glow.’

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