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PlantFiles: Mahonia, Oregon Grape
Mahonia 'Soft Caress'

Family: Berberidaceae (bear-ber-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mahonia (ma-HO-nee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Soft Caress
Additional cultivar information: (PP20183)
Hybridized by Stever; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2006

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Winter


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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to view:

By sueroderus
Thumbnail #1 of Mahonia  by sueroderus

By vossner
Thumbnail #2 of Mahonia  by vossner

By plantfreak78
Thumbnail #3 of Mahonia  by plantfreak78

By vossner
Thumbnail #4 of Mahonia  by vossner

By Nody
Thumbnail #5 of Mahonia  by Nody


1 positive
1 neutral
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative VA_GARDEN On Jan 4, 2015, VA_GARDEN from Hood, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Neither of the two plants I put in in the summer of 2013 made it through the winter. Although our winter was unusually cold, it did not get down to 0. One plant struggled to send up a couple of shoots from the roots in the spring, but died by mid summer.

Negative dabrar On Jul 22, 2014, dabrar from Arden, NC wrote:

I'm in zone 7, and these plants did not survive our cold winter.

Negative libbygood On Mar 28, 2014, libbygood from Alexandria, VA wrote:

Love the plant, but the seven I planted in the fall were wiped out by our cold winter. It never got below zero here...and the grower's description said hardy to zero...but all seven are dead to the ground. I have some dim hope that they may grow back from the roots. But beware...these are not reliably hardy in Zone 7.

Positive joegee On Feb 7, 2012, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant thrives in my zone 5b climate with proper siting and winter protection (planting close to a foundation, and garbage bags full of leaves mounded around the plant.) The minimal effort required in protecting this beauty is rewarded by the soft pinnate foliage and the lovely yellow blossoms.

Don't sell yourself short if one of these appears in your local garden centers and you don't live in zone 7a. Try careful siting and protection, and you too can be rewarded with a beautiful specimen planting.

Neutral vossner On Oct 30, 2011, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Foliage have points but not nearly as sharp as regular mahonia. Also has yellow raceme of flowers and blue berries. This plant does not like to be overwatered! I had to transplant mine to a shady but drier location b/c I was killing it slowly to excessive water. Slow grower. Low maintenance once you have a handle on moisture requirements.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Townsend, Delaware
Largo, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Bishopville, Maryland
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Bluffton, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Fort Worth, Texas
Richmond, Texas

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