How to propagate berberis

Written by kimberly johnson | 13/05/2017
How to propagate berberis
The berberis produces attractive yellow blooms in spring. (ekina/iStock/Getty Images)

The berberis plant is known more commonly as Barberry or "Rose Glow" and is native to Japan. The plant grows in a bushy form with tall shoots extending upwards that can reach a height of 1.2 to 1.8 metres (4 to 6 feet) tall. The stalks are covered in green-coloured leaves that turn a bright yellow or red in the autumn. Propagating a berberis plant can be accomplished by taking a cutting from an existing plant.

Wait until July or August and locate an existing berberis bush. Locate a stalk that is free of disease and has no flower buds. Cut the stalk off 7.5 to 12.5 cm (3 to 5 inches) from the end by using pruning shears to make the cut straight across the stem.

Remove all of the leaves from the lower third of the cut stem and discard them.

Dip the cut end of the berberis stem into water until it is submerged by approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch).

Dip the wet end of the berberis cutting immediately into a container of rooting hormone powder. Tap the cutting gently against the side of the container to shake off excess powder.

Fill a plant pot with one part peat and one part sand. Mix the two ingredients together thoroughly and then water the pot so that the mixture is moist.

Poke a 3.75 to 5 cm (1 1/2 to 2 inch) deep hole in the centre of the soil mixture with your finger. Insert the cutting all the way into the hole with the cut end facing downwards. At least half of the cutting should be below the soil surface. Fill in the hole with soil.

Insert the entire plant pot into a clear plastic bag and twist the top of the bag closed with a twist tie. Place the pot in a sunny location but not in direct sunlight until roots develop.


The best time to take the berberis cuttings is in early morning.

Tips and warnings

  • The best time to take the berberis cuttings is in early morning.

Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Water
  • Rooting hormone
  • Plant pot
  • Peat
  • Sand
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Twist tie

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