The Mahonia shrub, also known as the Oregon grape holly, is one of the more popular landscaping plants in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, mainly because of its stunning purple flowers in the winter and early spring, as well as its glossy green leaves year-round. This shrub flourishes in USDA zones 7 and 8 and can be planted in almost any part of your garden, provided that you have enough room for it to grow freely into a large bush.
The best place to plant a Mahonia is on the South facing side of your house. If you don’t have that space available, they can also be planted by an East or West facing window. If you live in the southern hemisphere, then your advice would be reversed. You’ll want to plant it on the North-facing side of your home for optimum sun exposure. In order to get the most light and heat possible, you should plant this shrub right up against your south-facing wall.
It will grow happily there with little water or fertilizer needed as long as it’s not too shaded. To protect from winds and frost, this shrub should be planted just outside of a building foundation where it will get some protection from its north side. In colder climates like Northern California, you may need to build a fence around the tree for extra protection during cold spells.
But if you do, make sure to keep it small enough so that it doesn’t block any more light than necessary. Plus, Mahonias are considered one of the easiest evergreen plants to care for because they can thrive with minimal watering and no pruning needed!
In moist soil
Mahonias grow well in moist soil and can thrive in zones three through seven. They should be planted in an area with plenty of sun exposure so they don’t get leggy or develop black spots. Add mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture and reduce weeds. To maintain healthy growth, water frequently during periods of high heat, drought, or cold snaps. The mahonia needs less watering in winter when the days are shorter and temperatures are lower.
It is important to keep the roots cool during this time by making sure that the ground never freezes. A thick layer of mulch will also protect against frost heaving. In areas where summers are hot and dry, it’s beneficial to add some organic matter to the soil surface before planting so that more moisture will be retained near the root zone. Watering once a week in summer will suffice if you do not have supplemental irrigation available.
Isolated from other trees
Mahonia grows in well-drained soils but is tolerant of soggy or rocky soils. They are not tolerant of salty or exposed sites. Outdoors, thrive when planted in full sun. One thing that most people don’t know about Mahonias is that they will grow and produce flowers if grown indoors on a windowsill. You may need to consider using artificial light for a few hours per day during the winter months, as it doesn’t get much light on those windowsills. Planting an indoor Mahonia near a window also helps provide more light. Remember, these plants love bright sunlight so keep them out of any corners where there isn’t direct sunlight.
Fertilize with rich organic compost
Mahonia is hardy shrubs that thrive in both sun and shade. These beautiful shrubs are some of the easiest plants you can have in your garden. Here are a few tips on where you should put it so it will grow the healthiest: – In sunny areas, place mahonia in a location that gets good all-day sun or provide shade during peak sun hours of late afternoon.
You’ll want to keep the soil evenly moist for the best growth. If you water regularly, add mulch around the base of the bush to retain moisture. Check with a local nursery to find out if your area has any specific pests that might attack this bush; also ask them how often they recommend fertilizing with organic compost as we talked about before.
Protect from rabbits and deer
Protecting the Mahonia from rabbits and deer is important. The small furry animals have sharp teeth that they use to gnaw on tree bark and pull the branches down, while deer browse the understory leaves and twigs. To keep these animals out of your backyard, you should fence it in with chicken wire at least six feet high for rabbits, and eight feet high for deer.
If you don’t want to build a large fence, try keeping them out by putting bird netting over your plants or fencing off areas as needed. In addition, creating an overgrown border around your garden will discourage them from entering because they can’t see what’s inside. Once you have protected your plantings, make sure you only water during the hottest hours of the day (usually 10 am-2 pm) so that there isn’t standing water after sunset.
For long-term success: With proper protection and watering methods, Mahonias are long-term shrubs that can grow up to six feet tall when they mature. These shrubs are adaptable to different climates and soil types, making them easy to take care of even if you’re not a green thumb!
1. Location and Space
Mahonia needs lots of suns. And they love moisture, so they should be planted near the water or in locations that are continually moist. A spot with dappled shade is also good for them. Keep in mind that the bigger the plants get, the more space they will take up. Consider how much space you want to give this shrub before planting it in your yard or garden bed.
2. Planting Your Mahonia Shrub
Before planting, amend the soil with compost and mix some time-release fertilizer into it. Make sure to stake the root ball securely when planting so that your mahonia doesn’t tip over as it grows taller and heavier over time (stake smaller plants as well). It needs constant watering but doesn’t drown it, either! It needs at least an inch of water every week.
In winter, cut back all the stems to one foot tall before freezing weather hits; trimming too late can result in poor regrowth and dieback due to cold damage. Finally, avoid placing large rocks or other obstacles around the base of your mahonia if possible.
Add bark mulch
Bark mulch is among the most popular mulches and offers many benefits. Mulching trees, shrubs, and other plants with bark not only covers up their roots for winter but also helps conserve water and keeps soil from eroding. Mulching also attracts and holds onto heat in the soil so it stays warmer longer which stimulates root growth.
Bark mulch even looks nice, too! It has a uniform brown color that can be easily spread on top of lawns, beds, or walkways. One cautionary note: For some types of mulch (e.g., cedar), be sure to avoid putting the material too close to your home’s foundation because it could release an unpleasant odor.
For more information about the right type of mulch for your yard and how much you need, visit your local nursery or garden center or talk with a professional landscaper about what will work best for you!
Plant in Spring/Fall
Mahonia plants thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. Plant them in an area that is cool, and shady, or if they are in the ground you can throw mulch on top of the roots during hot days. I recommend planting your Mahonias in an area that has a water source for when it is dormant, as long as there is drainage. The best time to plant your Mahonias would be during the fall or spring months. During these times the weather will not affect your new plant too much and it will not have to compete with other plants. If you live in a colder climate, keep the root ball warmer by covering it with pine needles or straw during winter so it doesn’t freeze.
Use bamboo stakes
Plant your young Mahonia in soil that has compost mixed into it. Compost is made from organic material and decomposes into nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants. To make compost you need organic material like fallen leaves, straw, shredded paper, or manure.
Place the organic material in a pile and let it sit until it starts turning into soil. Now you can add this new soil to your yard or garden where you would like to plant your Mahonia. You may have some additional work to do if you live in an area that gets lots of snow during the winter months because having plants exposed to snow does not allow them time for recovery and growth during those harsh winter months of continual exposure.
Hi I’m Bilal Malik, a digital marketing and blogging expert holding years of experience.