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Mahonia Mahonia

Growing Mahonia: Tips at a Glance

Mahonia is an early, showy harbinger of spring with fragrant, bright yellow flowers. The evergreen shrub is a useful privacy barrier.

  • Type Evergreen shrub
  • Life Span Perennial
  • USDA Zones 5-9
  • Light Partial shade
  • Water Moist soil
  • Location Protect from wind
  • Design Tip Harbinger of spring
  • Other Uses Privacy hedge
  • Peak Season Year-round

Mahonia: A Field Guide

Even before snowdrops and crocuses bloom, there is a showier harbinger of spring: the fragrant, bright yellow flowers of the evergreen shrub Mahonia. 

Our favorite Mahonia? There are so many we like. For instance, Mahonia lomariifolia is as statuesque as a palm or tree fern and can be trained against a wall. Petite Mahonia confusa grows to a well-behaved height of 5 feet at maturity

Of the dozens of species in the Mahonia family, M. aquifolium is a statuesque presence in a garden—and one of the few shade plants to provide full four-season interest: spring flowers, clusters of summer berries, fall color, and reliably green winter foliage. Maquifolium has serrated, holly-like leaves to deter deer; the shrub is a useful barrier to intruders when planted as a hedge. See Gardening 101: Mahonia for more on this winter-blooming workhorse.

For more ways to use Mahonia in a landscape design, see 5 Favorites: Add Color to the Winter Garden.

Planting, Care & Design of Mahonias

More About Mahonias

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