Elegant Yellow Blooms Appear in Winter on This Slow Growing Evergreen
The Soft Caress Mahonia plant is an evergreen shrub that is native to Asia. Its most unique and desirable feature is that it blooms during the winter.
Mahonia Soft Caress will put on a display of bright yellow flowers in early winter when other plants have gone into dormancy for the year. This elegant blooming shrub is ideal for planting in-ground or in a container. The long spikes of flowers hang like pendulums from the top of the shrub for several weeks.
Soft touch mahonia foliage resembles a bamboo plant. The top of the plant will produce several long spikes of fragrant yellow blooms that are filled with nectar. The flowers provide a late-season meal for traveling pollinators.
The bamboo-like leaves add interest to the landscape year-round. The shrub is slow-growing with a compact growing habit.
It’s a great shrub to use in a shade garden, Asian-themed garden, or as a specimen plant in the landscape. Wherever it’s planted the bright yellow blooms will be noticed since it’s one of the few plants that will produce color in the winter.
Mahonia Soft Caress Size
Soft Caress mahonia is the perfect size for growing in a container. This flowering shrub will be 2-3 feet tall when mature and equally as wide. The shrub only grows 8-inches a year so it will take several years to reach maturity. Ideal for a partially shaded porch or covered patio.
Use in a large container as a spiller plant that will cascade over the container sides or as a low-growing hedge along walkways.
Mahonia Soft Caress Care
Mahonia plants are not too picky about soil conditions but will get off to a good start if the soil is kept consistently moist during the first year. After that water once a week.
Add a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to help the soil retain moisture and prevent the soil from freezing during the winter.
Plant this flowering shrub in partial shade. The shrub is hardy in USDA growing zones 5-9.
Mahonias prefer slightly acidic soil that contains sand but will adapt to almost any soil condition. A mulch layer of pine needles or cottonseed meal will raise the acid level in the soil if needed. Add a handful of sand and plenty of compost to the soil before planting. Plant the shrub between late fall and early spring. Water before planting and space shrubs 5-feet apart when planting as a hedge.
Newly planted mahonia eurybracteata soft caress will need to be staked for the first few years. The young stems are too weak to uphold the heavy spikes of flowers and leaves without bending over. Once bent under the weight of flowers and foliage, the weak stems often break.
How to Prune Soft Caress Mahonia
Soft Caress Mahonia pruning is required after the first few years of blooming also. This will enable the mahonia to develop thicker stems that can support the weight of flower spikes. It will also keep the shrub looking neat.
Mature shrubs will not need pruning after they finish blooming. Only prune off dead or damaged branches as needed.
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Partial Sun / Partial Shade
Mature Width 2-3 ft
Mature Height 2-3 ft
Growing Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9