Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what happened to your shrubs but the symptoms could be due to either over watering or under watering. (For newly planted shrubs, the soil should be kept evenly moist but not sopping wet. The best way to water is to let if soak in slowly and go deep into the soil; it is better to water deeply less often than to sprinkle lightly every day. You water to supplement rain, if necessary. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still moist, do not water yet. Sometimes soil amendments can cause problems, as can overfertilizing or even planting too deeply. Since these are new shrubs I would suggest you work with your retailer to try to determine what has happened, then adjust your care as needed.I'm sorry about your barberries, usually they are very low maintenance plants and transplant well.
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