How to Grow and Care for Oregon Grapes

Oregon grapes are hardy USDA zones 5-9 and evergreen. Their origin is traced to North America and has burgundy foliage, purple-bluish fruit and yellow flowers. It is the state flower of Oregon and scientific name is Mahonia aquifolium.

It is not a true grape and bares common names like Oregon hollygrape, Oregon grapeholly, tall mahonia and Oregon-grape. They grow in full sun however partial shade would aid development. They are highly tolerant to different soil compositions and well-drained soil.

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Oregon grapes
Oregon grapes

Facts about Oregon Grapes

  • Size 4 to 6 feet tall
  • 4 to 6 feet wide
  • Exposure to full sun or partial shade
  • Preferred USDA Hardiness zones 5-9
  • It is evergreen
  • Compound leaves 12 inches long
  • Flowers are clustered and yellow in color
  • The resemble grapes
  • They are actually a berry

Pests and Diseases

The plants are hardy and suffer from leaf spots and develop chlorosis in alkaline soil. If they receive too much sun the leaves become scourged. Pests include scales, aphids, and whiteflies.

  • Leaf spots
  • develop chlorosis
  • Scales
  • Aphids
  • Whiteflies

Soil

Oregon grapes can grow in different types of soil. You can use drained garden soil, slightly acidic or humus. You can add compost, organic manure for your potting soil.

  • Slightly acidic
  • Humus
  • Compost
  • Organic manure
  • Garden soil

Description

Oregon grapes grow an impressive 4 to 6 feet tall, 5 to 6 feet wide. The produce light scented flowers that are small and bright yellow. The grape looking fruits are edible and attractive to birds, insects.

Uses

The fruit is attractive to different wildlife like humming birds and bees. They are good ornament plants, good barrier or hedge plants.

The fruit has a tart taste and is used in jellies, preserver, jam. It is used to make medicine to treat infections, stomach ulcers and skin disorders. It is used as a disinfectant and to fight bacterial and fungal infections.

  • Good ornament plants
  • Good barrier
  • Hedge plants
  • used in jellies
  • Preserver
  • jam
  • Medicine

How to Plant Oregon Grapes

You can plant the seeds or propagate through cuttings. To propagate through cutting select a semi-ripe wood and cut. Make sure you remove growths at base of the plant.

Oregon grape seeds require a minimum of 3 weeks cold stratification. Stored seeds will germinate in 6 months. To grow the seeds sow in plant mix in a pot.

Make sure you provide adequate water to keep soil moist. The pot should be well-drained and placed to receive partial shade and sun. Try to maintain the temperature to 50 degrees.

They have the ability to clone themselves and spread quickly. This make it an invasive species and problematic. It takes about two months to germinate and prune to maintain the plant.

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