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Berberidopsis corallina

England Eng

A couple of years ago I purchased a Berberidopsis corallina. I was aware it requires acid soil and part shade, but I didn't realise it was a plant sometimes listed as needing a very experienced skill level for growing.

This climber did well at first, but died over winter, despite being in a sheltered spot. I thought I was just unlucky, so I purchased another, but this time I put a cutting from the plant into a pot. The main plant once again died, but the one in the pot, which is in my shed, has grown enthusiastically. This makes me think it would do well in a greenhouse or conservatory, but I have neither. However, websites describe the plant as hardy, so in theory I should be able to grow it outside, with the right environment.

I now don't know what to do with this cutting which is fast outgrowing the space it occupies in my shed. Shall I put it in a larger pot of ericaceous compost and grow it outside?
If so, where shall I site it ? Should it avoid early morning sun? Must it be protected from windy conditions? Having had 2 of these plants die over winter, I'm hesitant about putting this surviving one outdoors. I have other climbers doing very well in my gardens, such as Trachelospermum jasminoides in several different places. Very confusing!

Any response welcome, even if it's just a friendly 'don't know' !!!



I'm struggling with this one as well - it's not as hardy as some books would have you believe. To have the best chance of overwintering it in the garden, it needs a sheltered position and a thick mulch to protect the roots from frost

14 Aug, 2008


As well as mulching it might be worth making sure your soil is free draining enough for it. It hates to sit in wet soil.

14 Aug, 2008


I grow this. Andrewr has hit upon the problem of many gardening books that I referred to in my recent 'spare yourself a disaster' blog. Here, your problem is that a Chilean winter is shorter, colder but drier than a UK one.

'UK shade' is a bit more than what it wants. 'Jess' has hit on part of the problem, you need to protect a young plant during its first UK winter. If your plant is in the GH now leave it there - it's too late for this 'summer'.

Plant it out with your jasminoides (which should be going crazy right now) next year once all threat of frost has passed. Then, in early november protect it in such a way that your frost fleece sheds the surplus wet of the UK winter. You should only need to do this for the first winter while the root system is too shallow. It is somewhat slow to establish.

15 Aug, 2008


There are many plants that come from parts of the world with cold but dry winters. They often struggle with our damp conditions and start into premature growth when we have a mild spell only to get clobbered when the frosts return. Knowing what a plant has to cope with in its native environment can give a clue on how to grow it in the UK. A classic case is rehmannia - cover it with a sheet of glass in the autumn and it will be fine; forget and you will lose it

15 Aug, 2008


Thanks for all your answers.
It's beginning to make sense now, thinking of the environment and conditions the plant enjoys in its homeland. Thank you Andrewr, Jess and Muddywellies.

Re. the reply from Jess, I searched for Jess as a member and got a photo of a German Shepherd Dog ! Is this a very talented dog which writes advice for gardeners ?!

15 Aug, 2008


Haha! I don't even own a dog!
Click on my name again and see what comes up. I have no idea why you found a dog...unless it is an usurper lol!

15 Aug, 2008


Seriously -

When I put Muddywellies in SEARCH, I arrive at Muddywellies as a member.

When I put Andrewr in SEARCH, I arrive at Andrewr as a member.

When I put Jess in SEARCH, I arrive at a photo of a German Shepherd Dog.

Amazing !

Muddywellies : When you're less busy, could you please put on the website a photo of your mature Berberidopsis Corallina, so that I have a better idea of how my plant should look as it grows bigger.

What height should I expect it to reach? It seems that it will need good trellis support all the way up?

Many thanks for your help so far.

16 Aug, 2008


Ok. If you type in Jess you get a picture of the dog called Jess owned by Ronnied. If you click on my name below my avatar it will take you to my profile. I guess the dog was on this website before I was!

2 Sep, 2008


A good thing you have such a great sense of humour, Jess.

To be upstaged by a dog.....
and a very lovely dog, it looks. LOL

2 Sep, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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