Plant Encyclopedia

Limoncello™ Barberry

Berberis thunbergii 'BailErin'

Learn more

The Landscaper's 

AVN succeeds by helping you & your business succeed.

  • 6 Locations

  • Plant Experts

  • +100 years in the industry

  • +2000 Plants

Limoncello™ Barberry with red dotted pattern around leafs

Discover More Information On Limoncello™ Barberry

Forming a tidy, round mound, Limoncello™ Barberry has chartreuse foliage with an unusual red, almost dotted pattern around the leaf margin through July. The fall foliage is equally spectacular with orange, yellow, and red leaves lighting up the landscape. The bright color and habit make it a great accent plant in foundation plantings. Bred by Don Selinger and introduced by Bailey Nurseries.

Plant Attributes

The Limoncello™ Barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'BailErin') is a beautiful, eye-catching deciduous shrub known for its vibrant foliage and compact growth habit. This cultivar is a standout in the world of barberries due to its stunning lemon-yellow leaves, which create a delightful contrast against the dark green backdrop of a garden or landscape. Its bright coloration and low-maintenance nature make it a popular choice for both residential and commercial gardens.

The Limoncello™ Barberry typically grows to a height of 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters) and spreads to a width of 3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters), creating a dense, mounding form. This versatile shrub is well-suited for use in borders, hedges, mass plantings, or as a standalone specimen. Its dense branching structure provides shelter for small birds and other wildlife, while its small, red berries attract a variety of songbirds.

The leaves of the Limoncello™ Barberry emerge in the spring with a bright, almost neon yellow hue, and as the season progresses, they gradually take on a more chartreuse tone. In autumn, the foliage turns a brilliant shade of orange-red, providing a stunning display of fall color. The small, inconspicuous flowers are pale yellow and bloom in late spring, followed by red berries in the fall.

The Limoncello™ Barberry is a hardy plant, thriving in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-7. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay, loam, and sandy soils, but prefers well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. This sun-loving shrub will produce the most vibrant foliage when planted in full sun, but it can also tolerate light shade. Once established, it is drought-tolerant and requires minimal care, making it an excellent low-maintenance option for busy gardeners or those looking for an easy-care plant.

One important aspect to consider when planting Limoncello™ Barberry is that it is considered an invasive species in some regions. This is due to its ability to spread rapidly and outcompete native plants. Before planting, it is recommended to check local regulations and consider non-invasive alternatives if necessary. Additionally, be aware that the spines on the branches can be sharp, so it is best to plant this shrub in an area where it will not come into contact with high foot traffic.

Landscape Use

The Limoncello™ Barberry offers a myriad of landscaping uses due to its striking color, compact size, and low-maintenance nature. Here are some popular ways to incorporate this versatile shrub into your landscape:

  1. Foundation Planting: Plant Limoncello™ Barberry along the foundation of your home or building to create a colorful and low-growing border that adds visual interest and requires minimal care.
  2. Hedging: Use Limoncello™ Barberry to create a vibrant, dense hedge that provides privacy and acts as a natural barrier. Its compact growth habit and dense branching make it an excellent choice for defining property lines or screening unsightly views.
  3. Mass Planting: Plant several Limoncello™ Barberries together in a mass planting to create a stunning display of color and texture. This works well on slopes or embankments, where the bright foliage can help to prevent erosion and add visual interest.
  4. Mixed Borders: Combine Limoncello™ Barberry with other shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses to create a dynamic and multi-layered border. The bright yellow foliage will stand out among other plants, creating an attractive contrast.
  5. Container Gardening: Plant Limoncello™ Barberry in a container to add a pop of color to patios, decks, or balconies. Its compact size and manageable growth make it an ideal choice for container gardening.
  6. Specimen Planting: Use the Limoncello™ Barberry as a focal point in your garden or landscape. The vibrant foliage and attractive form make it a standout when planted as a solitary specimen.
  7. Wildlife Garden: Incorporate Limoncello™ Barberry into a wildlife-friendly garden, as its dense branching structure provides shelter for small birds and other animals, while its berries attract a variety of songbirds.
  8. Rock Garden: The Limoncello™ Barberry's ability to tolerate various soil types and drought conditions make it a suitable choice for rock gardens, where it can add a splash of color among stones and other drought-tolerant plants.

When incorporating the Limoncello™ Barberry into your landscape, be sure to consider its potential invasiveness and sharp spines. Always check local regulations regarding invasive species and plant it in areas where it will not pose a risk to native plants or come into contact with high foot traffic.

Planting & Care

Planting and caring for the Limoncello™ Barberry is relatively easy, making it an attractive option for gardeners of all skill levels. Here are some guidelines to help you establish and maintain a healthy, vibrant shrub:

  1. Site selection: Choose a planting site with well-draining soil and full sun to ensure the most vibrant foliage. Limoncello™ Barberry can tolerate partial shade, but its color may become less intense. Ensure the site provides enough space for the mature size of the shrub, typically 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters) in height and 3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters) in width.
  2. Planting: Dig a hole about twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball of your Limoncello™ Barberry. Gently remove the plant from its container, ensuring not to damage the roots. Place the plant in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it down to remove any air pockets. Water the plant thoroughly to help settle the soil.
  3. Mulching: Apply a 2-3 inch (5-7.5 cm) layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant, leaving a gap around the stem to prevent rot. Mulching helps to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
  4. Watering: Water the Limoncello™ Barberry regularly during the first growing season to help it establish a strong root system. Once established, this shrub is drought-tolerant, but it will appreciate occasional deep watering during extended dry periods.
  5. Fertilizing: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to promote healthy growth and vibrant foliage. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application rates and methods.
  6. Pruning: Prune Limoncello™ Barberry in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. Remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches, and trim to maintain the desired shape and size. Regular pruning will also help to promote air circulation and prevent disease.
  7. Pest and Disease Control: Limoncello™ Barberry is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for common issues such as aphids, scale insects, or powdery mildew. If problems occur, treat them promptly with appropriate cultural or chemical controls.
  8. Winter Protection: In colder climates, protect the Limoncello™ Barberry from harsh winter winds by providing a windbreak or planting it in a sheltered location. Although the shrub is hardy in USDA Zones 4-7, extreme cold and wind can cause damage to the branches and foliage.

By following these planting and care guidelines, you'll be able to enjoy the vibrant colors and attractive form of the Limoncello™ Barberry for years to come.

Additional Information

Interested in

Limoncello™ Barberry


Plant Features

  • Height: 3-4'
  • Width: 3-4'
  • Hardiness Zone: 4-7
  • Heat Zone: 7
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Habit Mounding

Interested in a particular plant or have questions?
Please don't hesitate to contact us via this form or email, and we will reply as soon as possible.

Message sent! Thank you.

An error has occurred somewhere and it is not possible to submit the form. Please try again later or contact us via email.