Mahonia, also known as Oregon Grape Holly, are unique evergreen shrubs with spiky, holly-like leaves. They are used for massed planting as a hedge, barrier & screen or as a single colorful specimen. Spiny foliage grows erect starting with a deep red color scheme, then turning a deep, glossy green and then showing off in late fall with beautiful burgundy highlights that continue in the winter.
Lemon-yellow flowers have an amazing scent come out in late winter to early spring. They're grouped in clusters that are spike like, protruding up at the top of the shrub. The flowers eventually transform into powder blue berries that birds will love.
Mahonia shrubs can thrive in shady areas and are considered drought tolerant once established.
Pruning and Care for Mahonia Shrubs
Mahonia have relatively thick, woody stems. New growth almost looks like the stalk from asparagus (see picture below). It is recommended to prune along new growth. Prune in late winter or early spring, after blooms have faded. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer each spring. Mahonia prefer well drained soil but make sure you water regularly after planting. Water weekly once established, more often during periods of extreme heat.