Homeowners take a lot of pride in their beautiful landscaping and lush gardens. The addition of a nice garden increases the value of any home and provides a peaceful retreat after a busy day. However, having all of the lovely vegetables and flowering plants eaten by a deer can be heartbreaking.
In order to protect a garden from invasion by our cute little friends, wise gardeners incorporate barberry into their landscaping design. Barberry is a shrub that, while not 100 percent deer-proof, will deter most deer. This shrub grows during all four seasons and has prickly thorns that discourage deer from munching on its branches and leaves. Barberry can grow up to 8.2 feet and the leaves grow about ½ inch to one inch long.
This shrub has something to offer in every season. In the spring, barberry blooms with a nice-smelling flower that will compliment the garden’s other scents. In the fall, it sports a dark berry, adding to the kaleidoscope of colors in the landscape. These shrubs also lend a nice silhouette to any winter garden. The leaves of the barberry shrub are usually bright green to burgundy in color and take on a wedge-like shape at their base.
Barberry grows well in United States zones three to nine, depending on the cultivar. It has the ability to tolerate full shade and it yields a large amount of seeds that are carried by birds and distributed elsewhere. Due to this fact, some county extension offices consider Japanese barberry an invasive plant, so check with your county extension office prior to making a purchase.
Incorporating barberry into a landscape will prevent deer from eating the flowers, plants, and vegetables within a garden. It is a pretty flowering shrub that requires little maintenance in order to flourish in most climates. Perhaps best of all, the barberry shrub is an economical purchase when bought online or at a local garden center.