Mahonia has been a favorite of landscapers and gardeners for a long time, I mean, who doesn’t love a shade plant that is evergreen and blooms? There are a few different varieties, in my opinion the ones that do best here in the Austin, Texas, Lakeway, Dripping Springs and Hill Country area would be the ‘Charity’, the Leatherleaf and the ‘Soft Caress’.
My two personal picks would be either the ‘Charity’ or the ‘Soft Caress’, the ‘Soft Caress’ staying a bit shorter than the ‘Charity’. All bloom a beautiful yellow bloom. The Leatherleaf and the ‘Charity’ can be a bit pokey so be careful when handling, pruning or walking by. The ‘Soft Caress’ is just that, soft. The leaves of the ‘Soft Caress’ are long, slender and soft where as the leaves of the ‘Charity’ and the Leatherleaf are stiff with sharp points at the ends. Deer tend to leave them alone, but as anyone who has ever “lived with” and had any type or garden or landscape in the vicinity of deer knows, deer eat what they want when they want it.
The ‘Soft Caress’ stay a bit on the smaller side where as the ‘Charity’ and the Leatherleaf can get a bit larger. They are all on the drought tolerant end of the spectrum in regards to water and as with most everything that you plant, ensure they have proper drainage. Once established, water sparingly and you should have a very happy rather unique addition to your garden or landscape.