My Everchanging Garden

Gardening That Grows With Me

Berberis thunbergii ‘Sunsation’ (Sunsation Barberry)

Height: 125 cm (4 feet)
Spread: 125 cm (4 feet)
Bloom: yellow flowers in spring, very small
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Foliage: new growth golden yellow with a more orange cast in fall
Pluses: foliage colour, long season

Barberries are a wonderful foliage plant that can provide great contrast in the garden. They tolerate full sun to part shade although foliage colour is always more intense in full sun. Barberries do well alone as a focal point and also make great sheared hedges. All of the barberries have sharp thorns so be careful when moving, pruning or weeding around them. Pruning can be done almost any time. Although they do flower in the early spring the flowers are not very showy, I grow them mainly for their foliage. Barberries are also drought tolerate and pest resistant.

Berberis Sunsation BarberrySunsation is a small upright shaped deciduous shrub . It is a very slow grower in my zone 5 Southern Ontario garden. Although almost all sources report Sunsation as growing up to 4 feet, after three years mine have only increased in size about 6-8 inches and are now about 2 feet tall.

Sunsation has a more arching shape and it is a very slow grower. New foliage and growth is bright golden yellow in full sun fading to lime green in more shade. The foliage turns a slight burnt orange-yellow in fall.

Garden Location: Planted in the Entrance Gardens in 2005 in group of 5. Planted along the border’s edge of the Pool Garden in 2009 along with Concorde Grape Barberry for contrast. I am finding Sunsation grows taller than Concorde Grape so requires more pruning to keep it the same size so I may move them around.

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