Mahonia aquifolium is a medium sized, evergreen, prickly shrub bearing dense clusters of yellow flowers in the spring. During autumn and winter it produces black fruits providing a vital source of food for birds, and the leaves also take on hues of purples.
Mahonia is closely related to Berberis, but with larger, bolder leaves. The flowers are often followed by small fruits which are much loved by birds. These shrubs are not fussy about soil and all are happiest in shade, partial or otherwise, and do best in a site sheltered from cold winds. They are relatively slow-growing. Once planted, they need no further care, apart from the occasional removal of dead wood.
Buying Shrubs from Jacksons Nurseries
At Jacksons Nurseries we sell a variety of shrubs both evergreen and deciduous with a variety of flowering times throughout the year. At certain times of the year our shrubs you buy from us may not look like the images shown on our website when deciduous leaves have fallen, the shrub has finished flowering or has been trimmed back.
Some leaves on evergreen shrubs can be damaged in winter by frost or harsh winds but in spring new leaves will readily replace those damaged. This is quite normal on many evergreen varieties and is preferable to plants grown with excessive protection that show cold shock once planted out and establish less satisfactory initially.
Availability: Stock availability figures are provided as a guide only. There is a delay between orders being placed and the plants being gathered by our pulling team. During this time it may be possible for a member of the public to purchase these plants from our Garden Centre, while this is rare it is a possibility and we will notify you of any problems as soon as possible. This figure may also include plants that have not yet be flagged as unsaleable.
Pre-order: Pre-order times are given as a guide only and may vary dependent on the growing season. Orders containing Pre-ordered products will be shipped as a single order when all items become available. Large orders may be part shipped, please contact us on 01782 502741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Note: Shrubs in 20 litre pots and above might require a pallet delivery starting at £79.99 per pallet. Depending on the exact pot size and height it may be possible to get approximately 5 plants per pallet at no extra cost. The maximum height we can dispatch on a pallet is 2.0m, this includes the height of the pallet and pot.
Shrubs are deciduous or evergreen woody plants, and often provide fragrant flowers, berries and foliage. They are good for structural framework, and they can provide a wonderful shelter and food source for wildlife.
Planting and Conditions
Container grown shrubs can be grown at any time of year. It is a little known fact that shrubs planted in the autumn and winter will be easier to look after than those planted in the spring and summer, because they will have time to establish and become hardy in the cooler months.
Plant the shrub at the same depth as it was in its original pot. Planting too deeply can result in root and stem rot.
One of the biggest causes of death in new shrubs is drought stress, so keep it well watered until it’s established.
Make sure you loosen the soil prior to planting. Most shrubs are tolerant of most soil types as long as it is fairly well draining.
Most shrubs will grow happily in containers, but they will be much more demanding on feeding and watering than shrubs in the ground would be. They will also need potting on every couple of years so that they don’t suffocate or become stunted in their pot.
Aftercare and Pruning
Once established, shrubs generally do not require much water. However, at first they need careful, frequent watering and should not be left to dry out.
Shrubs in the ground are generally not demanding and in most cases, annual feeding with general purpose fertilizer will suffice. Shrubs in containers may need more feeding; usually from early spring until late summer.
Shrubs also benefit from mulching in order to supress weeds, conserve moisture and provide vital nutrients. Mulch also greatly improves soil conditions. Shrubs can be mulched in late winter, after fertiliser has been applied, but it can be mulched through autumn to late spring as long as the ground is damp.
All shrubs benefit from dead-heading once spent flowers become apparent. Rhododendrons and Lilac especially benefit from the removal of dead flowers.
Some shrubs may show signs of reverted growth or ‘sporting’. This is where random shoots of different leaves associated with the plant’s parentage begin to appear. Most commonly this is where plants with variegated leaves sprout pure green growths instead of variegated ones.
To control reversion, remove reverted shoots promptly to discourage them. Reverted shoots are usually much more vigorous than the variegated ones, and thus should be completely pruned out and cut back into wood containing variegated foliage.
Although shrubs are usually very robust garden plants, they can sometimes start to decline with no apparent or obvious reason.
This will start with browning leaves, which could indicate plant stress due to lack of water or waterlogging, an establishment failure or, in the worst case scenario, honey fungus. Another cause of leaf browning is a high salt content in the soil. This could be a natural occurrence, especially if you live near the ocean, or it could be from over fertilisation.
To remedy a high salt content, cut back on fertiliser and step up your watering regime for the next few weeks. If you live by the ocean, this will be harder to remedy—but stepping up your watering will help to wash some of the salt away all the same.