Orange Rocket Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’)

Orange Rocket Barberry

  • Vibrant Classic
  • Coral Orange Spring Color
  • Brilliant Ruby Red Fall Color
  • Easy Care, Cold Hardy
  • Rugged Plant Can Take High Heat and Humidity
  • Useful Columnar Growth Habit
  • Strong Vertical Form Stays Narrow
  • Excellent Hedge Plants
  • Looks Great in Containers
  • Sophisticated, Easy Care Plant
  • Good Rust Resistance
  • Tolerates Road Salt and Urban Conditions
  • Drought Tolerant Once Established in Your Soil
  • Rarely Bothered by Deer
  • Pretty Barrier Plant

People across the United States love the amazing range of tones on this upright Barberry shrub. Orange Rocket Barberry (Berberis thunbergii Orange Rocket’) has many features that make it an outstanding choice for several garden applications – especially in tough climactic conditions.

With a classic, strongly columnar growth habit, Orange Rocket can be used as an accent or specimen to define your space. It grows to a nice height, but stays narrow.

Use multiples in a shorter hedge or foundation planting. This Barberry is easy to squeeze into almost any landscape space you have.

You’ll love the bright orange leaf color as the new leaves emerge in spring. The first season’s leaves come on a pale, sweet apricot that age into a deeper coral and finally into a brick red.

Yes, all those hues are on the same plant at the same time! Orange Rocket Barberry is very showy. People will definitely notice this plant.

Pair it with early flowering Quince shrubs and any yellow-toned groundcover. Or, allow it to pop against the backdrop of evergreen trees and shrubs. This visual display acts as a perfect backdrop to other spring blooming plants.

Vivid spring leaves gradually age into a vibrant, bright green for summer. Orange Rocket Barberry is a garden workhorse in the summer time, with that nice, tidy and upright shape.

In fall, you’ll have another incredible color show. As nights start getting cool, the fall foliage becomes a brilliant ruby red that lasts a long time.

We swear, Orange Rocket Barberry looks and acts like an exclamation point!

Use this easy care shrub in garden containers. You can try them around the pool deck or punctuating your patio.

Place one near that special work of garden art to call attention to it. Use Orange Rocket Barberry near your front entrance to boost your home’s curb appeal.

Commercial property owners, take note. If you use Orange Rocket Barberry on your property, you will drive eyes to your side of the street. And don’t worry, you won’t have to fuss with this rugged little plant.

It can stand up to Zone 5 cold winters. It can take the heat and high humidity of a Zone 9 summer.

Mother Nature can dish out her worst, and Orange Rocket performs beautifully. This vigorous plant is even deer resistant!

Imagine how this tall, skinny plant can become a beacon in autumn. One would look terrific in your flower garden or as container plants on your patio or front porch for a unique burst of color.

The classic upright form is perfect for making colorful, narrow hedges for sunny locations where it is hot and dry. The stems grow strongly vertical and no one will want to walk through it.

We’ve partnered with an online service called Plant Sentry™. In some geographies, there has been trouble with Barberry doing too well. If there are any restrictions, we’ll have to block the order. To find out, just enter your zip code above the Plant Highlights section of the product page.

How to Use Orange Rocket Barberry in the Landscape

This ornamental shrub is cherished for its spring and fall color. They make fantastic low hedges that steal the show. As you can imagine, its columnar shape really lends itself to hedging.

Let them grow naturally or shear them into a formal hedge. Pruning the top on a regular basis allows the sides to fill in more heavily. It’s a beautiful look.

Create a nice, uniform tight hedge by planting 18 on center. Measure from the center of the first plant to the center of the next.

Orange Rocket Barberry makes an incredible addition to foundation plantings. This plant won’t grow tall enough to obscure your view from the front window.

Just get ready. . . cars may slow down as they drive past your house in spring and again in fall.

Repeat them at intervals all along your garden border to create vignettes, or special moments. They are perfect partners for so many other plants, including prairie natives and Ornamental Grasses. Enjoy them in the ground, in large containers – or both!

If you want an outstanding specimen plant that won’t outgrow it’s space, use Orange Rocket. This smaller shrub makes a big statement.

Tiny thorns on the erect branches make this plant the perfect barrier plant, too. Protect your property with style!

Tips for Care

For the best color, plant it in full sun. It will tolerate partial shade, as well.

Like many plants, it needs well-drained soil. If you see puddles in your planting site after a rain, you’ll want to improve the drainage. Add 18 – 24 of soil in a mound, then plant in that mound.

When your plants are young, give them moderate amounts of water regularly to help their roots get established in your soil. Give young plants water if you have an extended drought. After the first few seasons, it will become tolerant of drought.

Pruning for wayward branches can be done at any time. Before shearing your hedge, you might want to enjoy the first flush of new growth in spring. The color truly is spectacular.

Older plants can be rejuvenated. Completely remove several of the older, fatter stems all the way down to the ground. Allow the younger thinner stems to remain.

You’ll be amazed with all that this little shrub has to offer. It leaps into spring with a blaze of coral-orange color when the leaves first appear. When fall arrives, Orange Rocket Barberry will again amaze you with its transformation back into reds and oranges that are so intense they seem ablaze in your landscape.

Orange Rocket Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’) Details

Common name Orange Rocket Barberry
Botanical name Berberis thunbergii 'Orange Rocket'
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 3 - 4 ft.
Width 2 - 3 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Low
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color Yellow
Leaf color Deciduous