Mahonia holly in landscape design, varieties, planting and reproduction

Mahonia holly in landscape design is used to create hedges, decorate hillsides and add beauty to flower beds. Has an additional name "Oregon grapes".


  • Mahonia holly: characteristics, description of the plant and variety
  • What does Japanese mahonia look like in the photo?
  • The benefits and harms of the plant for health
  • Mahonia holly transplant, plant care
  • Reproduction of Mahonia holly
  • Crown pruning and shaping
  • Organization of wintering
  • The use of magonia for domestic purposes
  • How is Mahonia holly used in landscape design
  • Combination with other plants
  • Conclusion

Mahonia holly: characteristics, description of the plant and variety

Homeland of Mahonia holly North America. It was from here that in the 20s of the 19th century the plant migrated first to Europe, and then to Russia. But in our country, this shrub is still not very common.

This is surprising, since it does not require much maintenance and can easily endure winters. And its dark blue berries can even be eaten.

The plant is widely used in landscape design due to its uniqueness and attractiveness. It is a rather tall shrub, up to 150 cm. It has a pinkish-gray bark (the shade becomes dark gray during the growing process of the plant!).

It blooms from late May to mid-June with small yellow flowers, collected in paniculate inflorescences. Fruits appear in August, but ripen only in mid-September. In appearance, they resemble grapes (hence the second name!). The taste is sweet and sour.

Mahonia is able to withstand frost and is considered an evergreen plant. Looks good anywhere. Depending on the season, it changes the color of the leaves: in the warm season they are green, in the fall they turn brown, purple, dark red or even black.

To decorate the site and get berries, you can use a plant of the following varieties:

GracilisShrub with long green leaves
AtropurpureaWith leaves that change color from purple to almost black for winter
SmaragdWith yellow buds and black berries
Apollo and JupiterThe varieties are characterized by large inflorescences and a compact crown.
JugandifloriaThe leaves of which resemble walnut leaves in appearance

It is worth noting that Mahonia is an holly "close relative" of the barberry; it belongs to the same family with it. It is also cross-pollinated. That is, to collect berries, it is necessary to plant 2-3 shrubs side by side at once. Otherwise, the fruit will not be a fact.

You can buy Mahonia seedlings in specialized stores or tree nurseries. It's hard to find them in the mainstream market.

What does Japanese mahonia look like in the photo?

In addition to being holly, Mahonia is of the following types:

  • Creeping no more than 50 cm high, blue-green, sharp-toothed foliage, with a matte bloom. Fruits are dark blue with fluff. Blooms in late May, harvest in September.
  • Japanese tall tree, with gray bark. Leaves up to 50 cm in size. Flowers are small, yellowish. Blooms in late May, ripens by autumn.
  • Fremonti shrub up to three meters, the leaves are gray-green, change color with the age of the plant. The berries are dark red.

Regardless of the species, Mahonia in the photo looks like an ornamental plant that not only blooms beautifully, but also bears fruit.

The benefits and harms of the plant for health

What is important, holly mahonia is very useful for the human body. For medicinal purposes, you can use almost all of its parts.

Thus, the bark is often used to treat psoriasis and other skin diseases; from the roots, specialists create a special extract that can help in the treatment of the lungs and heart.

Homeopaths create antibacterial agents from the leaves. And berries help well with high blood pressure, they normalize it.

The roots of Mahonia holly also have healing properties. They are used to make medicines that are useful for gastritis, blockage of the biliary tract, giardiasis and hepatitis.

Outwardly, such drugs can be used to get rid of herpes, edema and acne. It is only important not to forget to consult a doctor before using the product. Self-medication does not lead to good!

Mahonia holly transplant, plant care

This plant is easy to grow. Mahonia is undemanding to soils, but grows best in slightly acidic soil, with the addition of sand and humus. Does not like stagnant water and direct sunlight. It is better to prepare the place in the shady part of the site and not blown by the winds. Mahonia's growth is slow.

As it grows large, it grows strongly. Therefore, if several bushes are being planted, the distance between them should be more than one meter.

The planting procedure must be performed in the following sequence:

For 2 weeks after planting the seedling, the earth needs to be dug up.

  • After another 7 days, make holes in the loosened area with a size of 50 * 50 cm.
  • Immediately fill them with a nutrient mixture of fertile soil, peat and manure.
  • Pour fine gravel or cracked brick on the bottom with a layer of up to 10 cm (for drainage). Sprinkle everything on top with earth.
  • Wait for the soil to settle and become more dense.
  • Prepare seedlings: remove all very long, diseased and dry roots.
  • Cut the sections immediately with charcoal, crushed into powder.
  • Place the bushes in the holes and cover their roots with fertile soil, making sure that the root collar remains above the ground.
  • Lightly compact the soil around the seedlings and sprinkle with mulch.

The process of transplanting Mahonia can be carried out in spring or summer. This should not be done in autumn, since the plant needs a lot of time for firm rooting and gaining strength.

Caring for Mahonia consists mainly of weeding weeds, watering and feeding the bushes with fertilizers. The plant is rarely sick. But if suddenly it "caught" some kind of fungal disease, it is treated quickly. To do this, it is enough to spray with a solution of special preparations.

You will learn even more about the rules for growing Mahonia holly by watching the video:


Reproduction of Mahonia holly

This plant is propagated like most others:

  • Seeds are sown in September, sprouts hatch in May. Further growth occurs in a greenhouse, planted in open ground after reaching the age of four. The planting procedure is carried out as follows: they take washed seeds, place them on a damp cloth, put them in a plastic container, and close them. After the sprouts appear, they are placed in a pot filled with fertile soil, watered.
  • Several shoots with leaves are cut off with cuttings, and "Kornevin" is applied to the lower edge of the cut. Then the shoot is immersed in the ground. To accelerate its growth, special groundbaits are used: decomposed organic materials or purchased mixtures. After placing in the soil, the cutting is covered with a transparent plastic bottle to protect it from external negative factors. This method is good for getting a lot of seedlings.
  • The roots of the plant are examined by layering before planting, diseased and dried ones are immediately removed. The lower branches are buried in, when roots and shoots appear, they are cut off and transplanted. During the summer, the bushes are periodically watered with water to prevent the earth from drying out.
  • Another interesting method of planting is using branches. To do this, in late autumn, cut off several branches and place them in a container of water. After the roots appear, the shoot is moved to a pot. Then just water it regularly and provide good lighting. A year later, the seedling is planted in open ground.

Crown pruning and shaping

The crown of the plant is cut off in three cases: if the shrub has become too tall and has ceased to fit into the overall picture; in the presence of a bare area and for the purpose of rejuvenation. They do it in April. Usually only those buds that do not have flower buds are cut off.

Everything is completely cut off only if the shrub is strongly deformed. Magonia is restored quickly, so there is no need to be afraid of such a procedure.

As for sanitary pruning, it is done before the flowering of the shrub. At the same time, gardeners remove all weak, drying out and diseased shoots.

Organization of wintering

An adult Mahonia needs no shelter. For the winter, you can simply mulch it with dry straw or peat. As for the young, it must be covered with spruce branches.

You can also spud the root system for greater protection from frost, at the same time covering it with a large hill of earth. The branches of the plant should be covered only if the onset of severe cold weather is inevitable.

This can be done with hay, pine needles, last year's leaves, various rags or roofing felts. It is recommended to clean the shelters as soon as the thaw sets in the yard. This is necessary so that the ground and bushes can warm up.

The use of magonia for domestic purposes

It has already been mentioned above about the use of the plant for medicinal purposes.

However, it can also be used to create winter bouquets, fill space under taller bushes and trees, make delicious wines, create all kinds of desserts and fillings.

In addition, it makes an excellent food coloring for compotes and Easter eggs.

And also paint for the fabric from which designers sew clothes for allergy sufferers and small children.

How is Mahonia holly used in landscape design

In landscape design, this plant is widely used. It is used to protect berry and fruit trees from diseases and pests, attract beneficial pollinating insects to the garden, and create a background for microborders.

Since Mahonia forms thickets during growth, it is also often used to "pad" those trees and shrubs, whose bottom does not look very attractive. She is also good in group plantings and rockeries, original bouquets and wreaths.

Some gardeners plant it on the slopes of hills and near stone sculptures, all with the same purpose to make the compositions more decorative.

Combination with other plants

Mahonia holly is great for making alpine slides. It perfectly sets off the beauty of other plants: magnolia, azalea, camellia, Japanese quince and so on. Looks in a special way next to coniferous shrubs and trees, as well as roses.

At the same time, Mahonia is capable of creating a truly fabulous sight. Experienced gardeners also recommend planting it if you do not want your garden to look dull and abandoned in winter.

Since the plant never fades, it perfectly "revives" the overall landscape, making it more refined and harmonious.


In conclusion, we can say that holly mahonia has every chance of becoming popular among domestic gardeners.

The plant is beautiful, bears edible and healthy fruits, looks great in a duet with other plants, stone compositions and other decorative elements.

And in itself it is luxurious. And it is also able to withstand frost and does not require special care!

Let's watch another interesting video on the topic:

So, it is not clear why it is still not so widespread in Russia. It's time to change the situation! Take, and plant a few Mahonia bushes on your site.

And she, in gratitude, will give you delicious berries, which taste no worse than barberry or the same grapes.

Watch the video: Small garden bushes (December 2021).