How do you care for berberis aquifolium?


Quick Answer

The berberis aquifolium, also known as the mahonia aquifolium or Oregon grape, is best cared for when planted in moist, well-drained soil where it can receive little direct light. This plant should not be overwatered; it is drought-resistant and thrives in many types of soil.

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Full Answer

The berberis aquifolium grows best when planted in soil that has a neutral or slightly acidic pH. Even though it tolerates soil of poor quality, if the plant starts to flounder, the gardener needs to add mulch or check the soil's acidity level.

The Oregon grape can grow in both sun and shade, although it does better in the shade or partial light. Full exposure to the sun can burn the leaves. It doesn't do well when exposed to strong winds, so a natural barrier or windbreak is necessary.

The plant should be pruned occasionally to remove suckers and to control growth; it does well with hard pruning. The spring is the best time to cut back old growth without harming the plant.

The plant needs to be checked regularly for infestations by whiteflies, aphids or scale. A sticky substance called honeydew and sooty mold are signs of an infestation. These need to be treated immediately.

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