Crimson Pygmy Barberry

As low as $79.19 was $109.99
Availability: In stock

Small, Tidy, Colorful Crimson Pygmy Barberry Shrub

Need a low-maintenance, densely-growing shrub that is big on color impact? The Crimson Pygmy Dwarf Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Atropurpurea Nana') is a lovely plant that brings an immediate impact to your landscape. It features a truly useful compact size and best of all - it works beautifully without fuss!

Highly ornamental, this deciduous ornamental shrub showcases outstanding crimson foliage that is overcast with a superb bronze sheen. Autumn adds a dash of brilliant orange for fall color. No wonder this plant won the Award of Garden Merit of the British Royal Horticultural Society!

Crimson Pygmy is resistant to disease, urban conditions, deer, and insects and requires little pruning to maintain its tiny, full, and arched shape.

Crimson Pygmy Barberry is a naturally dwarf variety of Japanese Barberry. Besides the colorful foliage, the Crimson Pygmy Barberry offers a lot of interest with tiny yellow flowers for butterflies and a sprinkling of reddish-purple berries on the spiny stems for songbirds.

Savvy gardeners across the country love Crimson Pygmy Barberry. It's adapted across a wide range and performs well in Zones 4-8. If you give it protection from the afternoon sun, it will thrive in Zone 9, too!

Even though the Crimson Pygmy Barberry is known to produce fewer seeds than other Barberry varieties, some states do have regulations against the Barberry genus. Count on Nature Hills to protect your community in restricted areas. We use Plant Sentry™ to stop shipments of regulated plant material into threatened areas.

How to Use Crimson Pygmy Barberry in the Landscape

Crimson Pygmy Japanese Barberry looks terrific along a foundation or walkway. It maintains a compact, rounded form and true color consistently from spring until frost. It stays small in stature and works in many garden applications throughout your yard. People love to use it as an edging foundation plant in front of larger evergreen shrubs. Or, use it as a colorful replacement for Boxwood to set off a garden bed filled with blooming summer annuals.

This fabulous small accent shrub is a true little workhorse in the landscape. Use it as a beautiful barrier in foundation plantings, a memorable border plant, or in brightly colored mass plantings. It will easily enliven Rock Gardens all growing season long. Crimson Pygmy can also be used in containers to add a pop of color to your patio.

Plant it a little ways away from a walkway or path, because there are small thorns, which make it an incredible barrier plant but may snag clothing. You'll love the color, but potential intruders will think twice about getting too close. Many people plant this shrub as a barrier plant to discourage deer from rummaging through their garden beds.

Live on a corner lot? Include a low hedge of this plant to stop people from cutting across your lawn. Place it anywhere you want a friendly, colorful way to direct traffic through your landscape. Gardens in deer country appreciate this plant 's resistance to deer!

Crimson Pygmy Barberry can hold its own in a rugged, hardworking landscape with groundcover Juniper shrubs and Russian Sage. Add Ornamental Grass and groundcover Roses for a magnificent display all season long. The delectably deep foliage makes a perfect contrast plant to bright golds, yellows, and deep green plants. For a romantic, complementary design, try it with other pinks and reds.

This adds a depth of color when it's repeated throughout a mixed landscape border. In Zone 9, it is quite often seen in part shade gardens planted with Azaleas or other dark green shrubs. It looks terrific in a Japanese or Zen garden. It's known for its ability to do well in cities and its tolerance to urban pollution, so it's a perfect plant for commercial property owners.

To create a low hedge, plant them two feet apart on center. Measure from the center of the first plant to the center of the next. Crimson Pygmy is wonderfully impactful in a massed planting. Keep them 2 feet apart on center. Use a zig-zag planting pattern, so they'll grow together faster.

Crimson Pygmy Barberry is a must-have for your yard. It's tiny enough to fit in just about anywhere and offers a lot of interest for its small stature and hardy nature.

  • Dramatic Dark Red Glossy Foliage Color & Bronzy Sheen
  • Sharp Thorns Make It A Great Barrier Plant
  • Tiny Yellow Spring Blooms For Pollinators
  • Dramatic Fall Color
  • Berries In Fall For Birds - Reduced Seeds
  • Stays Small, Compact & Tidy
  • Great Low-Maintenance Dwarf Borders, Edging, En Masse & Container Shrubs

#ProPlantTips for Care

Even if you are busy, your Crimson Pygmy Barberry can thrive. This slow-growing, natural dwarf shrub is very low maintenance.

Crimson Pygmy prefers full sun but does well when given morning sun and afternoon shade in hotter climates. The more sun, the more purple-red the leaves become. In too much shade, you'll see more green leaves. Good drainage is also important, but it will tolerate almost any soil type that is slightly acidic. It grows well in well-drained, medium-moisture soil.

Please baby your new Barberry a bit as a new plant. For the first several weeks, get out there and use the Finger Test daily. Poke your finger in the soil next to the plant every other day or so. Is the soil starting to get dry? Drag the hose out and saturate the area. Is the ground under the surface still moist? Skip watering that day. Once Crimson Pygmy gets its root system established in your native soil, it will only need infrequent watering. Plan to apply additional water during extended periods of drought. As always, a 3-4 inch layer of arborist mulch will help considerably!

You can prune this pretty plant to help it keep its beautiful arching growth habit and lush little shape. It's perfectly amenable to being shaped if you want to treat it as a topiary or downsize it. Snip any errant branches back into the mound to encourage bushy new growth. Wear gloves when you work with your Crimson Pygmy! You can also shear them after flowering since Barberry blooms on old wood.

In a normal year, Barberry isn't a deer favorite, and it is listed as Deer Resistant. However, deer will eat anything if they are hungry enough. In deer country, use Deer Repellent Spray on every single new planting. Reapply according to the directions through the growing season.

  • Widely Adaptable - Full Sun & Some Afternoon Shade In Hot Climates
  • Any Well-Drained Slightly Acidic Soil Type
  • Moderate to Low Moisture Needs - Drought Tolerant Once Established
  • Easy Care & Hardy
  • Disease, Pest, Pollution & Deer Resistant

The depth of color on the Crimson Pygmy is incredible! You can literally lose yourself for several minutes studying the beautiful leaves. Grab your camera when you head outside!

If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind, easy-care small shrub that's sure to draw attention with its pop of color, then Crimson Pygmy Barberry is your shrub! Fall in love with the beautiful little Crimson Pygmy Japanese Dwarf Barberry. In return, it will give you many years of brilliant performance with very little care. Order enough for your project today from!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Crimson Pygmy Barberry Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-8
Growing Zones 4-8
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Atropurpurea Nana'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 2 - 3 feet
Mature Spread 2 - 3 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Moderate to Low
Growth Rate Slow
Flower Color Yellow
Foliage Deciduous
Foliage Color Red, Burgundy / Purple
Fall Color Orange, Red, Burgundy / Purple
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time After Flowering