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Mahonia Eurybracteata Soft Caress is a new hybrid variety of flowering evergreen Mahonia with spine free leaves (many Mahonias tend to have spikey leaves). It won Plant of The Year at 2013 Chelsea Flower Show and has the RHS Perfect for Pollinators title.
Mahonia Eurybracteata Soft Caress is at its best in autumn when it produces great spires of honey-scented yellow flowers in slender upright racemes. Then in winter months the flowers turn into attractive blue-black berries which ripen in the spring. Throughout winter and into spring this soft leaved mahonia holds narrow spine-free leaves which are presented as pinnate leaflets on a single stem and look similar to ash tree foliage. These leaves cascade up and outwards in a bushy evergreen fountain making an attractive complement to choisya or holly.
Height and Spread of Mahonia Eurybracteata Soft Caress
Mahonia Eurybracteata Soft Caress is a compact evergreen that will reach 1.5 metres in height and a metre in spread over 5-10 years.
How Hardy is Mahonia Eurybracteata Soft Caress
Soft Caress is frost hardy down to sub-zero temperatures throughout most of the UK, but will struggle in harsh, freezing winds of northern regions.
How To Use Mahonia Eurybracteata Soft Caress
This is the perfect flowering evergreen for winter gardens that need a boost of colour. It will brighten any garden arrangement particularly suiting a low maintenance border.
It also fares very well in containers due to its compact form. Container grown specimens create good colour on a winter patio, and a welcome sight at the front door where its soft leaves cause no damage. Mahonia Eurybracteata Soft Caress suits urban planting with its structural form and wildlife gardens too, providing nectar and food for late autumn pollinators and birds.
How To Care for Mahonia Eurybracteata Soft Caress
In the mid to southern UK Soft Caress will manage in exposed areas, but in northern regions it will need some shelter from harsh, freezing winds.
Mahonia will tolerate any soil Ph and it grows well in sand, clay, or chalky conditions. They prefer full sun to partial shade, so if you have a sunny spot place it there for the brightest flower display. These are very tough evergreens that need little care, but an annual mulching will boost their health. There is no need to prune a beautiful mahonia, but you can cut out dead or damaged branches in spring when the flowers and fruits have finished.
If you need some tough winter colour this is the shrub for you. It is versatile with year round interest from its green branches and a burst of sungold blooms in the fading autumn when it’s needed most.
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