Barberry Thunberg Aurea (Aurea)

Barberry Thunberg Aurea (Aurea)

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With the development of landscape design, gardeners are paying more and more attention to the cultivation of decorative varieties of different crops. The southern species of the barberry shrub Aurea is among the first of these crops. Its unpretentiousness to environmental conditions makes it possible to grow shrubs in any Russian region without much effort.

Description of barberry Aurea

The ornamental thorny shrub Thunberg Aurea barberry in its description has the main difference from other Thunberg barberries in color - lemon yellow.

Otherwise, the description applies to the rest of the species of this variety:

  • in adulthood, about 10 years old, it is a bright yellow hemisphere in shape, grows up to 1 m in height, up to 1.2 m in width;
  • the main stems grow vertically, the side ones - at an angle to the main ones, which makes the shrub spherical in shape;
  • shoots of yellowish-green color with sparse thorns, densely covered with elongated leaves up to 2 cm long;
  • small inconspicuous white flowers are collected in inflorescences of 3-5 pieces, open at the end of May, hiding among dense foliage.

Red shades are slightly added to the lemon-yellow leaves of the Thunberg Aurea barberry in the fall, and at the end of August the shrub becomes orange-yellow. In October, in place of the flowers, numerous shiny fruits of a dark red color and elongated shape appear. Inedible fruits remain hanging on bare branches until the end of winter. Such a winter view of the barberry Aurea festively decorates the garden plot.

Barberry Thunberg Aurea is not picky about climatic conditions and soil conditions. The shrub is drought-resistant, tolerates frost well.

Warning! If some barberry stems freeze, then after spring pruning, the bush quickly recovers.

Barberry Aurea in landscape design

The main use of Aurea barberry is decorative. The shrub became widespread as part of a composite tree-shrub composition in the design of landscape design in gardens, parks, backyards, on the banks of a reservoir. The yellow color of the aurea barberry creates a contrast with the surroundings and enlivens the area, drawing attention to itself.

Bright blotches with their varied color create bushes of the Thunberg Aurea barberry of different varieties, if you plant them on the same site one by one or in groups, as can be seen in the photo.

Barberry Aurea tolerates urban pollution well, therefore it is often planted to decorate city parks and streets, create low hedges and curbs.

Planting and caring for barberry Thunberg Aurea

The ornamental shrub barberry Aurea is native to Asian countries (China, Japan), but is widely appreciated by gardeners in other regions of the Earth for its resistance to weather and climatic conditions. It is possible to grow barberry aurea in many Russian regions, planting and care are almost the same as for most shrubs.

Seedling and planting plot preparation

This southern shrub is very light-requiring. However, experienced gardeners are advised to choose a planting site so that the plant does not get burned by the sun and at the same time is not constantly in the shade, otherwise, its foliage will lose its brightness. Also, on Russian territory, it is better to plant Thunberg Aurea barberry where there are no drafts.

Attention! Barberry Aurea is unpretentious in the choice of soil. However, waterlogging and severe drought can destroy the plant. Slightly alkaline drained soils without close groundwater flow are ideal.

If the soil is acidic, then liming is carried out before planting: 300 g of slaked lime is diluted in a bucket of water and the area is watered. In the future, this should be done regularly.

The roots of the Thunberg Aurea barberry seedling should not be dry when planting. They are slightly soaked by placing them in a container of water. If the seedling was in a pot before planting, then it is separated from the container along with the earth and watered with water so that the roots and soil are moist.

Landing rules

Aurea barberry should be planted in a permanent place in early spring - immediately after the snow melts or in the fall - just before the onset of frost. The planting sequence is the same as for many shrubs.

  1. At the chosen place, a hole is dug 0.5 m in diameter and 0.5 m in depth.
  2. A drainage of several centimeters is arranged in the pit, putting coarse sand, broken brick or small stones there.
  3. A fertile mixture of humus, sand and earth from the site is poured onto the bottom in a ratio of 1: 1: 2 and watered with a little water so that it is moist.
  4. The seedling is planted in a hole and sprinkled with a substrate to such a level that the neck of the seedling is at ground level.

If a hedge is grown, then when forming a dense wall, 4-5 bushes are planted per 1 m, 2 bushes are enough for free growing. After planting, mulch is poured around the bush in the form of cut pieces of tree bark, small pebbles, dry grass, wood ash.

Watering and feeding

In normal weather, 1 bucket of water per week is enough for Thunberg Aurea barberry. If there is a drought, then watering must be done more often so that the land is not dry.

Barberry is undemanding to fertilizers, but it will respond well if feeding is carried out according to the rules:

  • the first application of nitrogen fertilizers is done in the spring one year after planting the bush;
  • 20-25 g of urea is diluted in a bucket of water and poured into the trunk circle of one bush;
  • further feeding is carried out once every 3-4 years.

With a caring attitude, periodically loosen the trunk circle, deepening by about 3 cm. It is also advisable to regularly mulch the trunk circle.


The Thunberg Aurea barberry shrub is trimmed for the first time 3 years after planting. Do this in the spring, cutting off poorly developed shoots, dry and frozen stems. This is the so-called sanitary pruning. It is carried out as needed.

Decorative and shaping haircuts are carried out 2 times a year - in early June and in the first half of August. If the bush is grown with a natural crown, then it does not need pruning.

Preparing for winter

Young bushes up to 3 years of age are covered with spruce branches or fallen leaves for the winter. This should be done when the air temperature during the day does not rise above 5-70 C, and the ground has already begun to freeze at night.

Advice! Single bushes can be wrapped in burlap, and tied with a rope on top so that it does not fly off during the wind.


The most common breeding methods for the Thunberg Aurea barberry are seed and green cuttings.

A high seedling yield during seed reproduction is obtained during autumn sowing. This process does not contain anything special and takes place, as for most shrub crops:

  • ripe fruits are collected, squeezed through a sieve, washed and dried;
  • in the fall, they are sown in prepared loose and moist soil to a depth of 1 cm;
  • spring sowing is carried out in the same way, but after 3 months of stratification.

Both seeds and seedlings can be purchased at the store. They will need to be stratified before landing.

For reproduction by dividing the bush, 3-5-year-old plants with a shallow planting are well suited. The plant is dug up, carefully divided with pruning shears and planted in a new place. This method is rarely used.

Most Aurea barberries are propagated by green cuttings, cutting off the strong green shoots of the current year. The shoot should have 2 knots and 1 internode. Cuttings are planted in boxes with a soil mixture of peat and sand, where they will grow for 1-2 years until they are capable of transplanting.

Diseases and pests

Gardeners consider the Thunberg Aurea barberry resistant to various fungal diseases and pests. But it is not recommended to leave the plant unattended, since there are several diseases that only barberries suffer from:

  • powdery mildew is caused by a fungus from the genus microsphere;
  • leaf spot manifests itself in different ways, and different fungi cause it;
  • barberry aphid can cause the entire plant to dry out;
  • leaf rust causes the leaves to dry out and fall off;
  • the flower moth destroys the fruit;
  • the barberry sawfly eats the leaves.

Powdery mildew is considered one of the most common diseases of the barberry Aurea. The leaves and stems of the barberry are covered with a white bloom on all sides, and if the treatment of the culture is not started on time, the whole bush will be affected.

To prevent this and other fungal diseases, the barberry bushes Aurea are sprayed in the spring with special fungicides before they bloom and then repeat the procedure as needed. Insecticides are used against pests as soon as they are detected.


Barberry Aurea is an ornamental shrub variety. Landscape designers use it with great pleasure as an important element for decorating gardens, parks, and private plots. Every amateur gardener who is familiar with the basic rules for growing shrubs can grow the Thunberg Aurea barberry.


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