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My rosy glow barberry is dying fromt the bottom up!

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Joined: 7/29/2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2
Posted: Jul/29/2008 6:30 PM PST

Ok, so I am new at gardening but I am trying. I recently started new beds in my newly constructed home from nothing. I added 2 rosy glow barberry shrubs. One was half way dead 1 1/2 days after planting so I took it back to the nursery and they replaced it but she said it needed more watering...I say whatever, the root was nicely damp and I know I watered it well...when I planted it, later that evening, the next morning and then boom its half now my other original barberry is not far behind. What am I doing wrong, how do I save them? Please help!

Ok so I guess I live in zone 5. Also I seem to notice that only the green "new growth" of my braberry seems to be suffering. I planted 8 other shrubs at the same time as the barberry and they get the same care but only barberry seems to be struggling. Is it going to completely die? Will it come back? I spent so much money and now I am so upset! I did everything I thought I should. I dug wide, put in Scott premium topsoil due to my rocky clay enviroment and then watered at planting and then in the evening and morning daily. They are in full sun, with the exception of minimal morning shade. I am so overwhelmed and just hope they survive! Thanks for any and all help!!!
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Jul/29/2008 6:52 PM PST

Welcome to GG- the place with answers to practically any gardening question and wonderful people
Ahhh- new construction!
I bet I know one major problem- your "soil" is nothing but clay from the fill developers use. The developer in my neighborhood is the same- they remove all of the good soil and then replace with clay.
The other major problem is the time of year. Mid summer is not a good time to be planting plants, especially shrubs and trees (we all do it anyhow though )

OK, Now for solutions
Add lots of organic material to your soil when you plant- even better to do it across the whole area before planting anything. Compost, Mushroom manure, composted cow manure (can all be bought at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.), shredded leaves etc. Mix A LOT in! in the case of clay (like I have) I would add at least 6-8 inches and work it in well.

Wait until cooler weather to plant the plants. I just bought some plants on Sunday, but I won't plant them until we get cooler again, (for the next week it's forecast to be in the mid 90's) whenever that will be LOL. I have them in their pots located where they get morning sun and afternoon shade, and water them twice a day. They'll be fine until it gets cooler (unless I forget about them )

OK, enough blathering
TulsaRose photos
Joined: 10/26/2004
Location: Tulsa OK z7a
Posts: 232
Posted: Jul/30/2008 4:37 AM PST

Natlee, welcome to the group. You'll love it here...very nice members.

Aurora has given you excellent advice. Trying to get any new planting established in the middle of a hot summer is very difficult. Too much stress on the plants and the gardener. I would hate to count the number of plants I killed as a beginner!!! lol!

You didn't add your location\zone in your Profile which would help us give additional information about your Berberis thunbergii 'Rosy\Rose Glow.' Also need to know if you planted your babies in direct, full sun or do they get some afternoon shade? If you live in one of the hot zones, they will appreciate afternoon shade. After watering them in, add a 2" or 3" inch layer of mulch to help hold in the moisture.

You can read up on more really helpful tips here: (copy\paste URLin new window)

Good luck!

Joined: 7/29/2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2
Posted: Jul/30/2008 5:08 AM PST


Thanks for the help. I live in zone 5 and they are planted in full sun. The new growth "green leaves" are dry and crunchy on my other original. I just don't understand why all my other shrubs are taking fairly ok? I planted several at the same time. I am new at gardening and learning along the way but I spent a lot of money and I am concerned they are going to dry all up and not come back!

Thanks again!
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Jul/30/2008 6:47 AM PST

The barberry's might be a little bit more picky than the others. Transplanting is stressful, and usually a plant will look a little sad because it re-directs it's energy into growing roots and neglects leaves, especially new growth ones.
Another thing you can try doing for them is to create a "shade cloth" to give them protection from the afternoon sun. I would put wood stakes into the ground around the plants, and drape ordinary black window screening over the stakes, making sure to not let it actually touch the plants. That should block enough of the sun to help them out until they are happier. You can double it up if needed.
I live in a warm zone, and I have to plant even "full-sun" plants in part sun sometimes. With temps in the mid to upper 90's and high humidity it can be tough for any plant, even established ones! I have a lorapetulum that is finally starting to look nice after 3 years!!
Hope they all make through!
tnjtrees photos
Joined: 6/07/2008
Location: Heyburn Idaho
Posts: 77
Posted: Jul/30/2008 11:04 PM PST

Welcome to one of the greatest sights on the net. Its great to have another fellow gardener from zone 5. Any way did you say you have already planted your Rosie glows. if so then remember the water. You will hear a lot of different opinions on which is the best way to water. Only you can determine which cycle is best for your plants. However, until you have fount that cycle might I make a few suggestions.

1.Water at least two times daily, but only give each plant a half gallon or so each watering. The reason being, your Rosie Glows were more than likely potted in a well draining, organic medium or soil. And unless they were in pots bigger than two gallons the plants will suck the soil around the roots dry in a short time.Don't forget all of the roots from your Rosie Glows are located only in this soil. Just beyond this soil of the root ball your top soil could be as damp as it wants to be. but your plants will not absorb the water until their roots have reached this soil.
2. Try and relive the stress from your barberries A.S.A.P. To do this you might want to buy some vitamin-B1,and apply to the roots as directed. This will greatly reduce stress and give the roots a great boost, However don't fertilize until this fall or next spring.
It may not hurt to trim about 1/4 to 1/3 of the growth, providing extra energy for the new roots. Once you are sure roots have grown out into the top soil, then cut back on watering times, and give more water less often.
Best of luck. T-N-JTrees. `````````````````````````````````````````````````` `````````````````````````````````````````````````` ```
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