Oregon Grape Holly

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Showy, Ornamental, Native Evergreen Oregon Grape Holly

  • State Flower of Oregon
  • Broadleaf Evergreen Shrub
  • Year Round Interest
  • Fragrant Bright Yellow Flowers
  • Edible Berries for Jellies and Preserves
  • Bronze-Red New Spring Leaves
  • Glossy, Dark Green Summer Leaves
  • Purple-Red Fall and Winter Leaves
  • Birds, Hummingbirds and Butterflies Love It
  • Deer Don't Prefer It
  • Native to Western North America
  • Grows in Full Sun, Partial Shade or Full Shade

Looking for a stand out accent specimen to include in your garden design? Try the outstanding, carefree native Oregon Grape Holly (Berberis aquifolium) to bring edible ornamental charm to your landscape—along with a lot of local birds and butterflies!

Highly ornamental, canary-yellow flowers cover Oregon Grape Holly in spring. These massive clusters of vivid yellow spring flowers develop into picturesque dark blue berries. The berries feature a steely-blue, glaucous overcast and are held along long, downturned racemes for unmatched beauty.

Harvest the tart berries for jellies, jams, wine and more, but hurry! You'll have to beat the birds, who are hungry for their share, too.

Recently reclassified from Mahonia aquifolium to Berberis aquifolium, this member of the Barberry family has many nicknames, including Holly-leaved Barberry, Holly leaf Oregon Grape and Grape Holly.

But this great native shrub isn't a Grape and it's not a Holly! Oregon Grape Holly is one of those plants that can be either the supporting actor in the garden or the star player.

Like a Barberry, the foliage is an outstanding feature. It will glow for you all season, starting with the bronze-red coloring of spring leaves that turn deep green and then mellow into a rich purple in the fall.

With bright yellow flower clusters in spring followed by loads of dark blue berries in the late summer, Oregon Grape Holly works hard all year-long. This easy care plant gives so much visual interest and is just tough as nails.

This beautiful evergreen shrub is a valuable plant native to western states but will grow all over the United States in Zones 5-9 with proper care.

Order some for your landscape today!

How to Use Oregon Grape Holly in the Landscape

Use them as a colorful specimen to accent your foundation planting. You can keep it small with yearly pruning. Plant it at least 4 feet from sidewalks to avoid the shiny, spiny leaves snagging clothes.

Plant them in large containers as a fabulous way to decorate your yard. Place two plants in the same container or use two containers near each other for cross-pollination. Try flanking an entryway or gate with one placed on either side.

Plant 3 feet apart on center to create a dynamic barrier and privacy screen along the patio. The foliage and erect stems bring some formality, but the irregular overall shape reads as an informal, free-form sculpture. No wonder people love it as a specimen in Japanese Gardens!

Give them space and watch as it slowly spreads to create living walls of an outdoor Meditation Garden room. You'll love studying the juxtaposition between shiny, spiky dark green leaves and rounded, blue orbs of the berries.

Watch the display of the spiny foliage as it changes color for each season. New spring growth features red coloring and deepens into a lush dark green for summer. Starting in fall, the leaves turn burgundy and persist through winter.

Use it in narrow side yards, or plant them right up against fences or buildings. Squeeze a few between your garage and your neighbor's wall. No matter how you use this decorative plant in your landscape, your local birds and butterflies will thank you.

Easily create a Wildlife Garden just by adding several Oregon Grape Hollies. You'll increase berry production by planting two or more. They can blend into existing plantings and fill in odd gaps in your naturalized shady spaces.

This plant is quite often used in shady Woodland Gardens, where it performs as a beautiful understory plant. Use them to define points along a trail in the shade of taller trees.

#ProPlant Tips for Care

Oregon Grape Holly grows naturally as an understory plant in Pine and Fir forests, so likes slightly acidic soil and in partial shade conditions. Deer don't like the prickly leaves and will leave it alone unless they are really hungry.

Plant in a location that has a lower pH to avoid leaf scorch. Fertilize with Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural Premium Fertilizer twice a year to maintain soil acidity. Apply it once in the late winter and once in the mid-summer.

This plant will also tolerate hotter, dry climates if the pH of the soil is kept below 6.5 and the plant is given regular water. Typically leaf scorch will appear if the pH is too high in either sun or shade.

Protect the lovely evergreen leaves from drying winds of cold winters, especially in Zones 5 and 6. Give it a protected spot and if you can't, try using an anti-desiccant spray starting in fall and reapply according to directions.

Very little maintenance is needed to keep this plant looking great. It is virtually disease and pest free. It's always a good idea to use mulch to cover the root system.

This glossy plant should perform beautifully for you. Open it up to sunlight and air circulation by cutting interior canes down to the ground.

This is not a plant like Privet that you can simply shear with uniform tip pruning. Instead, prune Oregon Grape Holly for size control by carefully trimming the longest canes back to a leaflet pair growing below the surface of the canopy.

For the best look, take your time while pruning. Layer staggered cuts evenly across the plant, hiding the cuts back into the canopy as you go.

You can also rejuvenate older shrubs by cutting all the way to the ground. Young stems will grow back from the center of the root system. It won't take long for the canes to grow back again, better than ever.

In some areas, Oregon Grape Holly performs too well. Nature Hills uses Plant Sentry™ to block shipments of regulated plant materials. As one of the oldest online plant nurseries selling coast to coast, our core value is to always protect your community from invasive plants. Type in your zip code above the Plant Highlights to see if you can use it safely.

Oregon Grape Holly is one of the most admired plants for garden use. Is it possible for a plant to be both subtle and eye-catching, graceful and spiky, muted and colorful? Yes, yes and yes! Oregon Grape Holly is all of this, and more.

This highly ornamental plant is underused in many places across the country. Start a trend and order at least two of these beauties today!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 18.99
20 - 49.99 21.99
50 - 69.99 24.99
70 - 99.99 29.99
100 - 129.99 34.99
130 - 149.99 41.99
150 - 150+ Approx 27%

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Oregon Grape Holly Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-9
Growing Zones 5-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Mahonia aquifolium
Mature Height 3 - 5 feet
Mature Spread 4 - 6 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Yellow
Foliage Broadleaved Evergreen
Foliage Color Red, Green
Fall Color Burgundy / Purple
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Fruiting Time Late Summer