About Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape)
This Pacific Coast native is called Mahonia aquifolium. More specifically from the Oregon state region, this variety is commonly called Oregon Grape. Its spiny green foliage emerges gold before turning green and in the spring welcomes clusters of tiny yellow, bell-shaped flowers. Blue grape-like berries emerge in the fall while at the same time its foliage transforms into a mix of deep reds and purples. Although tart in flavor, its berries are edible but do not share the taste of a typical grape. As a moderate grower, you can expect this bush to reach an average mature landscape size of 3-6 feet tall and wide.
Planting and care instructions
Using well-draining soil, plant Mahonia aquifolium is an area that receives full to filtered sun exposure. Water regularly after planting to establish a healthy root system. Once established, after one to two growing seasons, reduce the frequency making sure that the soil always remains moist but not soggy. A general fertilizer can be used in the spring if desired to encourage growth. No pruning is required but be sure to remove suckers to improve the overall health of the plant.
Landscape design ideas
The spiny leaves of this Oregon Grape bush act as an effective deer-resistant plant for landscapes in range of wildlife. This shrub looks nice planted against fence lines, walkways, or in front of commercial buildings.