Barberry Berberis 'Georgei'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
barberry 'Georgei'


The plant in question, commonly known as Barberry, typically presents itself with a vibrant display of foliage that can range in color from deep green to reddish-purple, depending on the variety and seasonal changes. Barberry is known for its small, oval-shaped leaves that are arranged in clusters along the branches, creating a dense, shrubby appearance. These leaves may exhibit a fine texture with smooth margins and are often small in size. Barberry is equally recognized for its sharp, spine-like thorns that protrude along the stems, offering the plant a natural defense against predators. It is during the blooming season that Barberry displays its delicate yellow flowers, which are small in size and hang in clusters, offering a striking contrast to the darker foliage. Following the flowering season, the plant often produces small, oblong berries that typically boast a bright red hue, providing visual interest as well as a food source for local wildlife. These berries can remain on the plant throughout the winter, adding a splash of color to the stark landscape. Overall, Barberry is a hardy, versatile plant that offers year-round visual appeal with its textured foliage, colorful berries, and yellow flowers.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      George's Barberry

    • Common names

      Berberis 'Georgei'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Barberry may have certain toxic properties to humans if ingested. Some species within the Berberis genus contain alkaloids, such as berberine, which can cause adverse effects. The toxicity of Berberis 'Georgei' specifically is not well documented, but in general, consuming parts of Berberis species can potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It is always best to err on the side of caution and not consume any parts of ornamental plants like Barberry due to potential toxicity.

    • To pets

      Barberry plants, including Berberis 'Georgei', may be toxic to pets if ingested. While the specific effects of this cultivar have not been exhaustively studied, Barberry in general is known to contain compounds like berberine, which can cause gastrointestinal distress in animals. Symptoms of poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and appetite loss. It's important for pet owners to prevent their animals from consuming parts of the Barberry to avoid these potential health issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      5 feet (1.52 meters)

    • Spread

      4 feet (1.22 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape interest: Berberis 'Georgei', commonly known as Barberry, features bright-colored foliage and fruits that add visual appeal to gardens throughout the seasons.
    • Low maintenance: Barberry is known for being hardy and requiring minimal care once established, which makes it an excellent choice for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Drought tolerance: Once established, Barberry can tolerate periods of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping or gardens with less frequent watering.
    • Pest resistance: This plant is generally resistant to pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments in the garden.
    • Wildlife attraction: Barberry can attract birds and other wildlife to the garden, as they are drawn to the berries and shelter provided by the plant.
    • Privacy and security: With its thorny branches, Barberry can serve as a natural barrier that deters trespassers and provides privacy.
    • Year-round interest: Berberis 'Georgei' offers interest in all seasons with its changing leaf color, yellow flowers in spring, and red berries in the fall and winter.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Berberis 'Georgei', commonly known as Barberry, can be used as a natural dye, particularly the yellow-colored roots and bark which contain berberine.
    • The thorny nature of Barberry makes it an excellent protective hedge for securing property boundaries against unwanted intrusions by animals or people.
    • In some regions, Barberry is cultivated for its ornamental value due to its bright red berries and colorful fall foliage.
    • The acidic berries of Barberry can be used in recipes as a substitute for other sour ingredients like citrus or tamarind to add a unique flavor to dishes.
    • Gardeners sometimes use Barberry in companion planting strategies, as some believe it can deter pests with its thorns and strong scent.
    • Barberry wood is hard and dense, making it suitable for small-scale woodworking projects like tool handles or inlay work.
    • Landscape artists and bonsai enthusiasts often use Barberry to create miniature tree sculptures due to its slow growth rate and ability to withstand pruning.
    • Residents in rural areas sometimes plant Barberry as a windbreak that can help reduce soil erosion and protect other plants in their gardens.
    • The berries of Barberry are sometimes used to create natural birdfeed, attracting various species of birds into the garden for birdwatching enthusiasts.
    • Culinary experiments might involve the use of Barberry berries to infuse vinegars or spirits, offering a unique tangy twist to the concoctions.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Barberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Barberry is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Berberis, commonly known as Barberry, often features sharp thorns, making it a plant considered to symbolize protection. In the past, people would plant it around their properties to deter intruders and to create safe boundaries.
    • Adaptability: Barberry is known for its ability to adapt to various soil types and environments, symbolizing flexibility and resilience.
    • Purification: Barberry has been used medicinally to purify the body and fight infection, thereby symbolizing cleansing and purification.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer to autumn
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For the Barberry 'Georgei', it's important to maintain evenly moist soil, particularly during the growing season. Water the shrub once a week with about 1 to 1.5 gallons, depending on the climate and soil conditions, making sure to soak the root zone thoroughly. During the hotter months, you may need to water more frequently to prevent drying out. In contrast, reduce watering in the fall and winter when the plant is dormant. Always check the soil moisture before watering to avoid overwatering, as Barberry 'Georgei' does not like waterlogged roots.

  • sunLight

    The Barberry 'Georgei' thrives best in full sun to partial shade. Ideally, it should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Planting it in a spot that gets morning sun but is shielded from the intense afternoon sun is beneficial, especially in hotter climates.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Barberry 'Georgei' can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. It can withstand temperatures as low as -30°F and as high as 100°F, but the ideal growing conditions are between 60°F and 70°F. Ensure it's not planted in areas prone to extreme temperature fluctuations for best growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Barberry 'Georgei' in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning is mainly done to maintain shape, remove dead or diseased wood, and encourage dense growth. Trim back overgrown branches and thin out the center to allow light and air to penetrate which promotes the plant's health. It's usually sufficient to prune once a year.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Barberry, specifically Berberis 'Georgei', should be well-draining with a mixture of loam, peat, and sand. Adding organic matter like compost can enhance soil fertility. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 5.5 to 7.5. Regular soil testing can help maintain optimal pH levels for robust growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Barberry plants, including Berberis 'Georgei', do not require frequent repotting and can thrive in the same pot for several years. Repotting is usually needed every 3 to 5 years or when the plant outgrows its current container. Spring is the best time to repot to ensure minimal stress on the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Barberry, such as Berberis 'Georgei', is adaptable to a wide range of humidity conditions and generally thrives in the moderate humidity found in most outdoor environments. It does not require high humidity and can withstand the dry air found in many temperate climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light; water when topsoil is dry.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to part shade; mulch; water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Georgei Barberry (Berberis 'Georgei') begins with seed germination, which occurs best in temperate climates after a period of cold stratification, imitating winter conditions. Once the seeds have sprouted, the seedlings develop a primary root system and begin to grow their first leaves. As an established young plant, it enters a vegetative stage of growth, producing stems, leaves, and a more developed root system. Upon reaching maturity, Georgei Barberry will produce clusters of small, yellow flowers typically in the spring, which, if successfully pollinated, give way to small, red-berry-like fruits. The shrub then enters a period of dormancy during the colder months, where growth slows or stops until conditions become favorable again. Throughout its life, the plant will continue to grow and reproduce, with an individual shrub able to live for many years, depending on environmental conditions and care.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to autumn

    • Propogation: The Berberis commonly known as Barberry, specifically 'Georgei', is best propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings. This method typically takes place in late summer, after the current season's growth has begun to mature and harden slightly. To propagate from semi-hardwood cuttings, take cuttings of about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) in length from healthy, disease-free stems. The bottom 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of the cutting should be stripped of leaves, and the cut end can be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. Place the prepared cuttings in a well-draining potting mix, ensuring that at least one to two nodes are buried where leaves were removed. The cuttings should then be kept in high humidity and indirect light until rooted, which may take several weeks. Once the cuttings have established a robust root system, they can be transitioned to individual pots or outdoor locations depending on the climate and time of year.