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Help again please!
Last year I bought what was labelled as Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea Admiration. It isn 't Admiration as it has no gold leaf borders. The garden centre knows nothing because they buy all their plants in. I want to trim it to make it bush out just in case it gets too tall and straggly as I'm hesitant now to believe the eventual size the garden centre said.- is it OK to tip it now or must I wait until autumn?




Hi I was always told with berberis leave till autumn if you wanted flowers late spring ... so if you not wanting flowers you can clip when you want to ...


17 May, 2018


Hi Sue, I hadn't heard of this cultivar so looked it up, apparently the golden/yellow leaf margins develop in summer, so perhaps a bit early for them, especially after the cold winter and early spring we've had, but having said that, B thunbergii, and the cultivar atropurpurea, both only grow to about 3ft high, with a spread of about 8 ft, so I can't imagine your plant getting much taller, Derek.

17 May, 2018


I think it would be useful if you could post a photograph so we can see what you've got there - there are several small cultivars of Berberis, including Berberis 'bagatelle' and Berberis atropurpureum 'nana' - its usually possible to tell if its one of those or one of the taller ones by the way it looks in terms of growth habit.

17 May, 2018


I also think it might be 'too young' to show its true colours yet.

berberis respond well to pruning so if you want to keep it 'short' then now is a good a time as any. can you not take photo of it back to the gc and complain that it isn't what it is meant to be.

18 May, 2018


Thank you for your help everyone.

I've had a good phone chat with the GC and I don't think a photo would help them as they just get deliveries ready labelled and don't seem to have a lot of expertise themselves. I don't mind if it isn't Admiration though it would be nice if it did get gold rims later - thank for that Derek and Sbg- but am cheered that it won't get too big. Will take a pic tomorrow when the light's better.

19 May, 2018


Took pic this evening after all-had to take it facing west but wanted to get it done. Hope its clear enough - if not I'll try again tomorrow.

19 May, 2018


Hmm, doesn't look like Admiration, hopefully its B. atropurpurea 'nana', which is a little smaller than Admiration. But Admiration only makes about 3 feet in height, and if this is Berberis atropurpureum and not 'nana', its growth habit is not rounded, its sort of spiky, no matter how much you prune it - it also gets 6 feet or more, so that's quite a difference in size. Also doesn't have the bright red coloration at certain times of year, its just purplish, as it looks now.

20 May, 2018


Oh dear that's what I was afraid of. I don't mind it being spiky or purply but didn't really want anything more than about 4 feet. Ho hum, I suppose I'll just have to keep clipping it if it gets too big.I wish I'd checked before I planted it. We already have one very big berberis at the end of the garden and there certainly isn't room for one like that. Apart from anything else its much too close to the Philadelphus, give it five years. But I might not still be around then anyway...

20 May, 2018


Huh, you and me both, Stera!

20 May, 2018


Things a little brighter on that front today B, but I won't go into details...

21 May, 2018

How do I say thanks?

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