Pleasantly fragrant and honey-bearing, the many small lemon-yellow flowers of mahonia stretch in clusters for long weeks, from December to April. A flowering followed by small blue-black berries.
Glazed, thorny, dark green glossy above, yellowish green on the reverse, the evergreen leaves of the mahonia are very decorative. The veins are very visible on the underside. And the young leaves take on a pretty bronze hue. Preferably plant three subjects together for a more dramatic effect. Near the house, you will enjoy its light and its fragrance. In shaded beds, it will be enjoyed in the company of plants that appreciate, like it, partial shade and a certain acidity.
The keys to the success of mahonia
The mahonia likes a temperate climate with mild winters, good summer humidity, soils generously amended in humus. It fears sharp colds and strong temperature fluctuations, strong winds, and dry soil in summer.
Very tolerant of soil quality, it prefers a rather sandy soil, slightly acidic or neutral and well enriched with humus before planting. The incorporation of an organic amendment based on manure and algae is strongly recommended. In very calcareous soils, it will be necessary to add peat blonde or heather earth to acidify the soil a little.
- Plant preferably between October and March-April.
- The mahonias are always presented in containers, which guarantees the recovery for sure.
- Planting distance: on average 1.50 meters.
Her growth is quite slow, about twenty centimeters per year. The adult shrub measures on average 2 to 3 meters in height, but some exceptional plants reach 5 meters.
Good care of the mahonia
The young subjects benefit from being staked, because the stems are sometimes a little too flexible to carry the voluminous bouquet of leaves and flowers without bending. They must also be pruned after flowering, to encourage the plant to branch out: pinch off the clump of terminal leaves. As an adult, mahonia requires virtually no pruning. Just remove damaged or dried out branches and remove wilted flower stalks.
Water to maintain the soil always slightly damp during the first year of cultivation. A mulch helps protect the roots from freezing in severe cold. A mulch of compost or bark mulch will provide humus, while maintaining the coolness of the soil, and preventing the growth of weeds.
- Read also: cultivation and maintenance of mahonia