Happy New Year! This Mah... #223726 - Ask Extension


Happy New Year! This Mah... #223726

Asked January 05, 2015, 2:23 PM EST

Happy New Year! This Mahonia is 3 years old. I think it's named Winter Sun, or something like that because of the winter flowers. I love it, but is it supposed to be so lanky? Every year some bottom branches yellow and fall off. Is there a way to bush this plant out? Or is it just a skinny two trunk plant? Thanks, Barbara

Charles County Maryland

Expert Response

Mahonias tend to be leggy. If you want it to be bushier, in early spring before the new growth starts, cut one of the stems close to the ground right above an eye or growth node. This will look like a lump where a leaf used to be attached. You should get two stems growing at this site this spring or summer. Next year cut another stem close to the ground as you did before. Gradually you will get a bushier plant. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG84_Pruning%20orna...  vw

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