I recently received a small potted purple leaved barberry bush. I planted it in good topsoil with a ph of about 6.0. The area gets about 5 hours of direct sun per day. There is one large boxelder tree about 25' away.

Two weeks after planting, the foliage has turned almost entirely green. Why has this happened, and is there a way to correct it? enter image description here enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Berberis are not particularly fussy about soil type, nor about soil ph. There's only one reason why the foliage on a coloured leaved berberis goes green - not enough direct sunlight. You've said it gets 5 hours of sun a day - maybe the sun's not actually out during those 5 hours, or it's more shaded by plants around than you realised. Best colour on the leaves is achieved with more than 6 hours of direct sun. This answer assumes your plant was definitely not green when you bought it, which you've said it wasn't.

  • the only sizeable plant nearby is the hydrangea you see at the edge. It is from a cutting in 2012, so is still small. Could it be the overcast weather? Really?
    – J. Musser
    Jun 12, 2014 at 2:50
  • @jmusser; whatever the cause, it ain't gettin' enough sun...
    – Bamboo
    Jun 12, 2014 at 11:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.