Compact Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia aquifolium ‘Compacta’)
Compact Oregon Grape Holly
We know that some of you out there only think of the great Northwestern forests as home to the legendary Bigfoot and his kin. Hopefully, we can enlighten you on some of the other natural wonders in those forests! Let’s start with the Compact Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia aquifolium ‘Compacta’) is a new, much more compact form of the American native Mahonia that is so prevalent in the Pine and Fir forests of the great Northwest!
Its smaller size makes it much more versatile as a landscape shrub than its big brethren, though. The current trend is leaning toward smaller and urban gardens, so there is a need for smaller plants to fit those spaces, and this small shrub does it better than most!
Oregon Grape Holly is a fantastic plant. Its spiky leathery leaves are evergreen, but they sport a couple of color changes throughout the year! The bronze-red new growth turns to glossy deep green in the summer and then transforms into purple-red for the fall and winter months. If that weren’t enough, there are also sunny yellow late spring flowers followed by deep purple summer berries. Now imagine all of this on a compact plant that will fit just about anywhere.
Use this native as a small hedge or around a deck or steps to hide the foundations. It also hides the leggy bottoms of taller plants if you put it in front of the border. Try it by rocks, dry streambeds or water features for an interesting foliage juxtaposition. It is a perfect choice for massed panting and big borders, too. The yellow blossoms attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, so include one as an anchor for your pollinator garden!
Add a boost of year-round interest and greenery to your landscape! As a sun or part shade foundation plant along the front of your home, as a lower hedge and screening property divider, or as a fantastic backdrop for smaller perennials and mixed shrub borders! Plus those edible berries are great for jam and jelly!
Mahonia tolerates full sun and partial shade throughout the USDA hardiness zones of 5 through 9. A highly adaptable version of the great native Oregon Grape Holly, these are rather deer resistant and very low maintenance. This glossy plant should perform beautifully for you. Open it up to sunlight and air circulation by cutting interior canes down to the ground, or pruning right after the flowers are done. You can also rejuvenate older shrubs by cutting them all the way to the ground. Young stems will grow back from the center of the root system. It won’t take long for the canes to grow back again, better than ever.
This is an excellent choice for the home garden – durable, low-maintenance and beautiful! Add a few to your garden today.
|Common name||Compact Oregon Grape Holly|
|Botanical name||Mahonia aquifolium 'Compacta'|
|Plant type||Broad-Leaved Evergreen|
|Harvest time||3-5 Years|
|Height||2 - 3 ft.|
|Width||3 - 4 ft.|
|Sunlight||Full Sun, Partial Shade|
|Moisture||Medium - More in Heat|
|Pruning time||After Flowering|
|Flower color||Bright Yellow|