Mahonias are upright evergreen shrubs. They grow to about 3m high and wide so are great for the back of a border. Their bright yellow, fragrant flowers appear in late Autumn/early Winter giving a welcome shot of colour. They also provide much needed pollen and nectar for bees during the Winter and seeds for birds in the Spring/Summer.
They will grow in most soils and grow best in partial shade but will also grow in shade or full-sun (as long as it is not dry). Pruning isn’t generally needed but if they do benefit from some of the older wood being removed or the top being reduced to regenerate them, especially if they have become particularly leggy. Just beware the leaves – they are spiky!