The main methods of breeding barberry: seeds, root shoots, layering, dividing the bush and cuttings

The main methods of breeding barberry: seeds, root shoots, layering, dividing the bush and cuttings

Barberry is a plant that combines many positive qualities. Due to the high decorativeness of the bush, it is used as a hedge. Jam, marshmallows, sweets and drinks are prepared from barberry berries, they are added to sauces and marinades. Leaves, roots and bark contain a coloring pigment. Barberry is a good honey plant, easily tolerates a haircut. Therefore, it is not surprising that gardeners want to plant this plant on their site.

How barberry reproduces in vivo

Barberry is a large shrub that can grow up to 2 m in height. It is highly decorative all year round. Blooms in yellow flowers, gathered in bunches. The fruits have a ruby ​​color, often decorate bare shoots even in winter. The foliage takes on bright red tones in the fall.

Varieties have been bred in which the leaves have patterns, borders, or are painted in unusual shades.

If you give the barberry freedom for several years, then, like a dog rose, it will capture the entire adjacent territory with shoots. In addition, this bush reproduces well by self-seeding. But if your goal is to get cultivated seedlings that retain varietal qualities, then it is better to use reliable and proven agricultural propagation techniques.

The thickets of barberry look very beautiful, but it is simply impossible to care for such a continuous mass of shoots with sharp thorns.

Ways to propagate barberry in a personal plot

The shrub reproduces vegetatively and by seeds. There is one important difference between the two. You will get barberry from seeds, but it will not repeat the qualities of the mother plant, for example, it can produce berries of a different size and taste. When propagated by cuttings, layering, shoots, varietal properties are not lost.

Seed propagation

The method is the longest and most time consuming, gives unpredictable results, but this is precisely what makes it interesting. Barberry seedlings please the gardener with their appearance more than root shoots or rooted layers.

Barberry seeds are small - 0.5 cm in length, elongated, glossy, dark brown

There are two options for growing barberry from seed. If you love difficulties, miss the garden in the off-season, then choose the seedling method. Seeds must be stratified 3 months before sowing, that is, in December, place them in a moist substrate (peat, sand) and keep in the refrigerator. In March, you can sow, then dive seedlings and perform all the traditional seedling techniques.

The second way to get seedlings is simpler:

  1. Gather ripe berries, extract seeds from them. By the way, the fruits of barberry do not crumble for a long time, they can sag on the branches until winter, so do not rush to collect seeds. This can also be done on the day of planting.
  2. In October, arrange a small bed on the site.
  3. Make grooves 1 cm deep at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other, water them and spread the seeds every 5-7 cm.
  4. Sprinkle dirt over the grooves, tamp lightly and cover with foliage or dry grass mulch.
  5. In the spring, remove the shelter and wait for the shoots.

Seedlings of barberry in the open field will appear when the ground warms up

Seedlings obtained in the open field do not need protection from frost, they do not need to be hardened and accustomed to direct sunlight. Small barberries are adapted to natural conditions from the first days of life. You just have to water these seedlings and not give them offense to the weeds.

Reproduction by root shoots

This is the easiest way, but it is available only if you or someone you know has an adult, well-grown barberry. Young bushes do not give overgrowth. Root offspring grow from buds on the roots, they do not appear from the center of the bush, but along its periphery. Getting a seedling is easy:

  1. Take a close look at the area around the bush. If you find young sprigs of barberry sticking out of the ground, then you are in luck.
  2. Dig up the shoot with a shovel, carefully, without pulling, remove it from the ground.
  3. Cut the root connecting the mother plant and the young shoot with a pruner.
  4. Level the digging site with earth, and plant the seedling in the place allotted for it.

Root offspring are recommended to be planted during the dormant period, that is, before bud break or after leaf fall.

Root offspring grow at some distance from the base of the bush, connected to it by the root

Rooting horizontal layers

Also an easy way, but the result must be expected during the summer. In the spring, bend the shoot of the barberry to the ground, pin and sprinkle it with earth to its full length, leaving only the top on the surface. You can make a groove and put the shoot in it. Throughout the summer, the soil in the digging site must be kept moist and free of weeds. By autumn, young twigs will appear from each bud that is underground. You can dig up the entire shoot and divide it into seedlings.

Barberry is absolutely not picky about the composition of the soil. Grows well on clay, sandy, rocky soils. Dislikes only damp and swampy places.

The shoot of the barberry is bent to the ground and sprinkled with earth along its entire length for rooting

Dividing the bush

It is very difficult to dig up and divide a large and thorny bush, therefore they resort to this method as a last resort. For example, when the barberry still needs to be dug up in order to transplant it to another place. Hold the event in spring or autumn.

  1. Cut off all the shoots, leaving 20-30 cm stumps.
  2. Dig out the entire bush.
  3. Divide with a pruning shears or a garden hacksaw into parts so that each has 2-3 shoots with roots.
  4. Plant the resulting seedlings in their permanent places. Small divisions, the viability of which you doubt, grow in separate beds or plant 2-3 in one hole.

To avoid hurting your hands on the thorns when working with barberry, use garden gloves for roses.

The barberry bush must be divided so that on each part there are 2-3 shoots with roots

Propagation by green cuttings

The most uncommon method, because with high labor costs, the survival rate of cuttings is very low.

Breeding rules for green cuttings:

  1. Start cutting cuttings at the beginning of summer, take the middle part of annual growths.
  2. The length of the cutting depends on the distance between the buds, there should be 2-3 internodes.
  3. The diameter of the cutting is about 5 mm.
  4. Make the bottom cut at an angle of 45about, the upper one is straight.
  5. Tear off the lower leaves, cut the upper ones in half.
  6. Deepen the cuttings 1–2 cm at an angle into a moist and loose substrate - a mixture of sand and peat 1: 3.
  7. Build a mini-greenhouse over the cuttings no more than 40 cm high.
  8. Maintain optimal conditions inside: humidity - 85-90%, temperature - 20-25⁰C.
  9. Open the greenhouse several times a day to ventilate and spray the cuttings.

Green cuttings consist of three internodes, the lower cut is oblique, made under the kidney

The survival rate and the duration of rooting depend on the variety. It may take 20 or 30 days. The main sign of success is that new leaves appear on the handle. From this time on, the future seedlings begin to harden, removing the shelters first for an hour, then gradually increase the duration of stay in the open air.

Video: how to root green cuttings

Propagation by lignified cuttings in autumn

According to gardeners' reviews, the percentage of barberry rooting with this method is higher than with green cuttings. Planting material is taken from two-year-old shoots. The optimal time for such an event is late autumn, before the onset of frost.

  1. Cut completely lignified branches of barberry no more than 1 cm thick into cuttings 20 cm long. Make the bottom cut at an acute angle.
  2. Dig into the trench until spring and cover with spruce branches, fallen leaves or other breathable materials. Option two: keep the cuttings in the cellar until spring, submerging them almost entirely in wet sand. The main thing during winter storage is not to let the cuttings dry out.
  3. In the spring, plant the cuttings in a garden bed or in a greenhouse, deepen so that only the upper two buds remain on the surface, the third should be located near the ground or be slightly dug.
  4. Maintain constant soil moisture.
  5. By the fall, seedlings with 2-3 shoots will grow from the cuttings. Can be dug up and transplanted to a permanent location.

Cut the cuttings from the middle part of the shoot, plant them at a slight slope, leaving two buds on the surface, so that by autumn shoots will grow from the upper buds, and the roots from the lower ones.

Barberry reproduces in several ways. The easiest and fastest is to dig out the growth. It will take about a month to get seedlings from cuttings; horizontal shoots take root from spring to autumn. In the off-season, you can do seed reproduction and even breed your barberry variety in this way.

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Barberry: cultivation, types and varieties

Author: Natalia Category: Garden Plants Published: February 20, 2019 Last revised: January 13, 2021

  • Listen to the article
  • Planting and caring for barberry
  • Botanical description
  • Planting barberry
    • When to plant
    • How to plant
  • Barberry care
    • Growing conditions
    • Fertilizer
    • Pruning
    • Pests and diseases
  • Reproduction of barberry
    • Reproduction methods
    • Growing from seeds
    • Propagation by cuttings
    • Reproduction by layering
    • Dividing the bush
  • Barberry in winter
    • Preparation
    • Wintering
  • Types and varieties
    • Common barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
    • Barberry Thunberg (Berberis thunbergii)
    • Ottawa barberry (Berberis x ottawensis)
  • Barberry properties
    • Beneficial features
    • Contraindications
  • Literature
  • Comments (1)

Plant barberry (lat.Berberis) belongs to the numerous genus of shrubs and trees of the Barberry family. The name of the genus comes from the Arabic "beiberi" meaning "shell-shaped." Barberries are widespread mainly in the mountainous areas of the Northern Hemisphere and have about 170 species, some of which have been introduced into culture. For gardeners, barberry is of interest as a raw material base for making drinks, jams, home remedies, but the decorative qualities of this plant do not go unnoticed by lovers of beauty - the color of the leaves of varietal barberries is diverse, except for green ones, they are yellow, purple, variegated, spotted and even with a border. Barberries also differ in their size - from large bushes of three meters in height to dwarf bushes no higher than 30 cm.


Barberry: propagation by green cuttings

Such material takes root much easier. For cuttings, use annual growths when the bark on them becomes elastic, but not yet lignified. For example, the Thunberg barberry tolerates propagation by cuttings perfectly and has a high level of survival.

Experts advise using the middle part from the shoot (diameter about 5 mm). The length of the cutting should be from 7 to 10 cm, consider the number of internodes, there should be two or three. Make the top cut straight and the bottom cut at a 45-degree angle. It is also recommended to remove the lower pair of leaves from the cutting, and cut the upper ones by half or one third. According to this method, the propagation of barberry by cuttings occurs in the summer (at its beginning).

A substrate containing sand and peat in a 1: 3 ratio is best suited. Plant the cuttings obliquely, leaving one internode on the surface. For successful rooting, a temperature of 20-25 ° C and a high humidity of 85-90% are required. If you choose a hard-to-root barberry, propagation by cuttings is best done using growth regulators (auxins, BCI, IAA, etc.), as this increases the survival rate. These include the following types: monotonous, Canadian, whole-edged, etc.


Other ways of breeding barberry

Seed breeding method for barberry

The propagation of barberry by seeds has also not lost its relevance recently.
Medium-sized barberry seeds: about 0.5 cm long. They have a slightly elongated oblong shape and are painted in a glossy brown or almost black color. The morphological characteristics of seeds may vary depending on the type of plant.
A high yield of seedlings is observed during podzimny sowing with freshly harvested seeds that have not undergone stratification. In the conditions of central Russia, sowing of barberry seeds is carried out from the beginning to the middle of the second decade of October.

However, for evergreens and intermediate varieties, spring sowing is recommended after stratification, which begins 3 months before sowing. Ridges with a height of 20 cm are prepared for sowing, which ensures rapid heating of the soil and a high degree of aeration. Sprouted seeds develop faster under such conditions, the seedlings are stronger. Before sowing, grooves are made on the ridges with a depth of 2-3 cm. The grooves are formed at a distance of 15 to 20 cm. After sowing the seeds, the grooves are sealed with a mixture of wet compost and sand. Before emergence, the ridges are shaded and watered regularly.
When sowing in the winter, only 40% of the seeds emerge in the spring, the rest germinate during the summer, so uncooked and extended seedlings should be expected. Barberry, depending on growing conditions, species characteristics, climatic zone of growth, weather conditions during seed ripening and other factors, forms seeds, the germination rate of which varies from less than 20 to 90%. Seeds remain viable for up to 2 years.

Evergreen species of barberry are characterized by the formation of tightly similar and immature seeds, their seedlings are less resistant to adverse factors and more susceptible to diseases. Such varieties require careful maintenance and special care.
Good germination of seeds and high viability of seedlings are observed in plants growing in areas illuminated by the sun.

Barberry seedlings can be distinguished by the following features: a short petiole and two oval cotyledons. The shape of the first three true leaves depends on the specific characteristics of the species and can vary from round to elongated oval. The next 4th and 5th true leaves have a shape characteristic of an adult barberry plant. The cotyledons persist until autumn, then they fall off themselves.

When preparing sowing beds, organic and mineral fertilizers are applied. Growing seedlings are fed three times during the growing season. For the first time, two-week seedlings are fed (while taking into account the time of emergence of mass seedlings). Subsequent feeding is carried out at intervals of 3-4 weeks. If we consider that the first feeding will be around the end of May, then the last one will be carried out until August. In August, feeding seedlings can trigger the activation of growth processes, which will negatively affect overwintering. For top dressing, it is better to use complex mineral fertilizers with microelements. All dressings are foliar and are made by watering through a watering can.

If the sowing is carried out with high-quality seeds and a known high germination rate, then it is advisable to reduce the seeding rate. Otherwise, obtaining thickened seedlings will require additional forces for thinning. For the full development of seedlings, the distance between plants in a row should be at least 5 cm. In thickened rows, seedlings stretch and develop unevenly, which leads to significant losses during wintering.

After the appearance of the 2nd true leaf, it is recommended to pick the seedlings.However, if there is a high risk of damaging only the hatched "belated" seeds, then this procedure can be postponed to the spring of next year. The picking begins after thorough watering of the seedlings. In order for the plants to have a good turgor and easily tolerate the transplant, it is better to focus on cloudy days. When picking, the distance between seedlings in a row is set at 10 cm, and between rows - at 30 cm.If picking is carried out in the second year, then after growing in a school for 2 years, the plants are ready for planting in a permanent place.

Propagation of barberry by layering

In the spring, several shoots are selected from an adult bush and bend them to the soil (you can pin them). Then sprinkle with moist soil and leave for the whole summer, remembering to water regularly. By autumn, the allotted shoots will give roots from each bud. At this time, the shoots must be separated from the parent bush and divided into divisions in accordance with the number of roots formed. The delenki are carefully dug out without injuring the young roots. For greater efficiency of this method, use the method of ringing the shoot with a wire in front of the first bud from the ground.
This method of breeding barberry does not require the allocation of an additional area and allows you to update the planting.

Reproduction of barberry by dividing the bush

This method of reproduction is less widespread and is not used on a production scale. Its use is advisable only in emergency cases, when it became necessary to obtain new planting material from old mother bushes. An important advantage of such reproduction is the rapid production of young plants.

You can divide the barberry bush both in early spring and in autumn. Before dividing the bush, its shoots are cut off, leaving short stumps. After that, the bush is dug up and they begin to divide. The bush is cut into divisions in the root collar zone so that each division has roots and 2-3 shoots. It is advisable to treat the cut sites with a special paste with growth stimulants. After processing, the delenki are ready for planting in a permanent place. For small parcels, it is recommended to plant in a nursery school. The barberry bushes obtained from such material bloom already in the 4th year.

Like any ornamental plant, barberry responds well to fertilization. Organic fertilizers are applied in the form of compost, humus and peat. Application rates depend on the nominal soil fertility and can range from 2 to 5 kg per square meter (for compost). From mineral fertilizers, superphosphate is applied at the rate of 40 g per 1 sq. M, for nitrogen and potassium fertilizers the norm is two times less. Fertilizers are applied immediately before planting in ready-made planting pits after mixing with soil. Organic fertilizers are also used as a mulching material for trunks after planting.

Caring for young bushes consists in weeding timely, regular watering and loosening the upper layers of the soil. Starting from the 2nd year of life, barberry bushes can be fed 2-3 times per season. Barberry care also includes spring sanitary pruning, which increases as the bush matures. From the age of 5, the bushes require thinning.

Reproduction of barberry by self-seeding

This least labor-intensive method of breeding barberry can be quite effective. The only thing that needs to be done is to create favorable conditions for the germination of fallen seeds and the subsequent development of seedlings. For this, the soil under the plants is constantly cleared of weeds, fertilized and loosened. During the ripening period, the soil should be moist and loose. Ripe fruits fall to the freezing ground and are covered with snow. In the spring, the seeds germinate and germinate successfully. Under the protection of the mother bush from the scorching sun rays, strong seedlings develop, which can be transplanted by autumn.
This method is common mainly among amateur gardeners.


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