Compact branches make a wonderful low hedge, barrier planting or single shrub accent. Deep crimson color to foliage. Bright red berries enhance its look in fall and winter. Deciduous.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. For a tidy, neat appearance, shear annually to shape. Pruning time: spring after flowering.
An outstanding colored foliage to add interest to foundation planting and short enough to fit under most window sills. Spot into overly-green shrub borders as singles or groups for a larger mass of vibrant color. Use as an informal low hedge, edging or frame in a linear composition. Excellent background plant for perennial borders. Great small stature filler for sideyards and small city yards that need versatile plants with interest in every season. Berries make this plant a beautiful addition to bird and wildlife friendly habitat gardens.
Barberries are named for the wickedly sharp "barbs" or thorns that line their branches, and for the berries that follow the flowers. The first botanist to identify this Aisan barberry in Japan was the Swede, Thunberg in 1784, for whom the species was named. The purple barberry did not leave Asia for Europe until a century later when it apppeared in the Royal Botanical Gardnen at Kew. The first record of this, the most powerfully purple-red variety, Atropurpureais newer yet and not recrded until the 20th century by French nurseryman, M. Renault, around the time of World War I. Cherry Bomb is a registered cultivar developed by Monrovia.
In English folklore it was considered bad luck to allow a barberry bush to grow close to the wheat crop. This turned out to be true through modern science when a particular type of fungus, or rust that infects barberries also infects wheat. Barberries acted as carriers and thus the farmers nearly wiped out all the native English barberries many centuries ago. Today barberries are quarantined or restricted due to risk of transporting the fungus.