Mahonia nervosa help

Asked August 14, 2019, 10:14 PM EDT

I have been having trouble with some young mahonia nervosa plants that are planted in a challenging location next to a sidewalk. I've been giving them plenty of water but the plants with more sun exposure turn red and then brown. I'm attaching a photo so that you can seeā€”the plant on the right is turning red and brown. It gets more sun. Both of these plants looked great to me just a couple of months ago. Do you have any advice? Thanks in advance for your time!

Multnomah County Oregon trees and shrubs

1 Response

Mahonia nervosa is a favorite plant of mine. It does well in shade, growing naturally on the north side of wooded canyons according to some sources. It may color more red in fall or winter.
My guess is that you are growing it in too much sun and heat. My experience is that they can be difficult to establish, but once happy the clump will expand over the years, making a fine ground cover with sword fern and native ginger, for examples.
Here is the Oregon State Landscape Plants page, giving the details about your plant: https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/mahonia-nervosa