Ottawa barberry is an ornamental shrub popular among gardeners, which is often planted in personal plots. Like any other plant, barberry has its own individual characteristics that must be taken into account in the process of caring for the plant.
One of the most characteristic features of the Ottawa barberry is its color. The crown of the ornamental shrub has a purple-red color. Thanks to such an external characteristic, the plant is often used in landscape design as a decoration of the site. The shrub itself is a hybrid plant obtained by crossbreeding common barberry and Thunberg barberry.
In this regard, its external characteristics, as well as internal features are not uniform - the Ottawa barberry combines the best qualities of two original species.
So, if we talk about the height of the bush, it should be noted that this indicator can vary in the range from 2 to 3 meters . In this case, the crown diameter of barberry can reach 2.5 meters.
The main part of the barberry bush is spreading branches that have an arched shape. In this case, the stems can grow both up and hang down. When caring for a plant, one should be quite careful and attentive, as the Ottawa barberry has spikes.
The purple-red hue of the leaves of barberry is unstable, it is able to change and lighten. This phenomenon is especially characteristic for the autumn period. The flowers of the ornamental shrub are small in size, but have a pronounced color. Their background color is yellow, but red spots may be present. The flowers themselves do not grow singly, they are collected in brushes. The time of flowering is May. It should be borne in mind that the flowers of the Ottawa barberry have a characteristic aroma.
In addition to flowers, barberry also has berries. They have a red tint and are quite large in size.
The structure of the root system of the Ottawa bush has a branched structure.
The plant tolerates the transplant well.
The Ottawa Purple Barberry (Berberis ottawensis) includes several varieties. Consider the description of each variety in more detail.
Silver Miles can reach a height of two meters. However, you can only see such indicators after 8-10 years of plant growth and development. "Silver Miles" differs from its relatives in the unique coloring of the leaves. So, if you look at the plant from afar, it may seem that it is painted in dark purple.
However, in fact, the color of the shrub is completely heterogeneous. With a closer analysis, you can see that on the surface of the barberry there are various bands, spots and marks of a different kind. They, in turn, have a pinkish-gray tint.
Silver Miles blooms in the last month of spring. At the same time, it produces bright and colorful yellow-red flowers.
Auricoma variety is a higher shrub, since the plant can reach 2.5 meters in growth. The leaves are rounded and reach 5 centimeters in length. The color of Auricoma barberry is purple-red. It does not change depending on the season.
Auricoma has fruits that have time to ripen by the end of 3 trimesters. They have a sour taste.
This type of Ottawa barberry is most often used in landscape design. It is used both for decorating private plots and for decorating public areas. For example, quite often a shrub can be seen as part of a composition in hedges.
The largest Ottawa barberry in terms of performance is Superba. The plant can reach a height of 3 meters, significantly exceeding human growth. The crown size is also quite large and ranges from 2.5 to 3 meters.
The color of the leaves of the plant is unusual - a shimmer of a bluish tint. At the same time, Superba changes its color in the fall season, becoming brighter and acquiring an orange hue. The fruits of the plant ripen in mid-autumn: they are edible and have a sour taste.
If we talk about the use of varieties in landscape design, it is worth noting that barberry is used not only as part of a variety of compositions, but also planted singly.
Thus, in nature there are 3 main varieties of Ottawa barberry. Despite the fact that they are all related, each of them has its own unique characteristics and features that distinguish the plant from other similar shrubs.
Before planting the Ottawa barberry in your area, carefully study all the features of a particular variety, and only then proceed with planting.
Landing and care
First of all, when planting, it should be remembered that the shrub will grow best in sunny and well-lit areas. If possible, choose a place without drafts and wind.
Ottawa barberry will grow best under neutral soil conditions (growth and development may slow down in an alkaline or acidic environment). Do not forget to pre-conduct work on the drainage of the site. Make sure that there is no groundwater near the landing site.
To plant a single shrub, you need to dig a small hole , the height, length and width of which should be at least 0.5 meters. At the bottom of the hole we lay the drainage coating at our discretion (this can be brick fragments, small pebbles, gravel, another option).
And also in the pit you need to fill in a pre-prepared fertile mixture, which should consist of turf land, sand and humus (in the proportions of 1: 1: 1). Then you should water the soil mixture abundantly.
We plant a seedling in a strictly vertical position. If necessary, add a little earth, and then water the young plant again.
Mandatory care measures for Ottawa barberries of any variety include watering, top dressing and pruning. Despite the fact that the shrub easily tolerates drought, it can die from poor and insufficient watering - its recommended frequency is 1 time per week. In this case, for each bush of barberry should have 1 bucket of water.
Fertilizing and fertilizing should begin from the moment the barberry has bloomed (most often - from 2 years of age). It is recommended to use various complex mixtures.
Pruning should be done in spring. A similar event belongs to the category of sanitary.
Diseases and Pests
In general, the Ottawa barberry is a fairly resistant plant to diseases and pests. The shrub resists insect pests as well as fungal infections. Nevertheless, there is a list of diseases that can affect the ornamental plant. These include:
- powdery mildew;
- rust and others.
To prevent the occurrence of ailments, it is recommended to spray the plant with fungicidal solutions in advance.
In addition, when the first signs of the disease are detected, it is necessary to immediately take up the treatment of the plant.
Ottawa barberries can be propagated in several ways.
The breeding procedure is best carried out in the spring. To do this, it is recommended to collect ripened fruits in the autumn season, squeeze, rinse and dry them thoroughly. Next, we plant them in prepared soil and cover with a film that will perform a protective function. After the seeds germinate, they can be planted in a permanent place.
If you decide to propagate barberry with cuttings, then this procedure is best done in the summer. It is recommended to use cuttings of a young tree (3-5 years old). Cuttings should be placed in greenhouse conditions. Until the beginning of autumn, young shoots will give an increase of 2-3 branches.
See the next video for more on Superba barberries.