3 Ways to Use ‘Soft Caress’ Mahonia in Your Garden

Unlike other mahonias that become large and unruly, Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ is the perfect size-- maturing at three to three and a half feet--to grow in decorative pots and, its soft evergreen, almost fern-like, foliage looks good, no matter what the season. 

*One thing to note, this mahonia  appears to prefer soils that are not too acidic, so keep this in mind when you locate it in the garden. Adding a small amount of lime (or planting it next to a stone wall) when you plant may just do the trick.   

Try these three ways to use 'Soft Caress' in the landscape:

1. Make a Statement at Your Entrance

If you have a front door that is in a shady spot dress it up with two large containers that feature Mahonia ‘Soft Caress'.

Plant ‘Soft Caress’ with Angyo Star Fatshedera, dark leaf selections of coral bell, Heuchera - and light colored forms of  Heucherella.  Even without flowers, the variety of striking colorful foliage, contrasting both in size and shape, makes for a stunning year round display. When Soft Caress’ blooms in the winter, the yellow flowers are a welcome bonus. 

2. Evergreen hedge in the Shade Garden

Maturing at about three feet tall, ‘Soft Caress’ is ideal for a low evergreen hedge or screen in the shade. Plant groups of three or five.

For a contrast, combine it with hostas and ferns like Japanese painted fern or the native Christmas fern.

For a taller mixed evergreen border, add Empress of China® DogwoodMountain Snow™ Pieris and Diana™ Camellia.  This will ensure you have blooms during every season. The white flowers of the dogwood and camellia will glow in the shade garden. 

3. Combine it with flowering bulbs and bold foliage

Now is the perfect time to refresh your landscape or containers. 'Soft Caress' Mahonia is one of our favorite plants for the transition from winter to spring. A big bonus – it can withstand those last unexpected frosts that sometimes sneak up before spring fully sets in.

Pair with fragrant bulbs to provide a striking contrast to the delicate mahonia foliage.

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