How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Mahonia, Barberry, Oregon grape— Mahonia, Berberis spp.
Family Berberidaceae (Barberry family)

Plant Identification

Mahonia spp. are evergreen shrubs.  Related to mahonia, Berberis spp. are evergreen, semievergreen, or deciduous shrubs.  Leaves have spiny edges and are divided into leaflets.  Flowers are generally yellow and are produced in clusters.  Berrylike fruit forms after bloom and may be red, purple, blue, or bluish-black.  Fruit is attractive to birds.

Optimum conditions for growth

Mahonia and Berberis spp. are good foundation plantings, screens, barriers, or hedges.  Depending on species, plants grow well in areas with full sun, partial shade, or full shade.  Water requirements also vary among species from little or no water required to regular watering.  Prune to remove old, damaged wood.  Cut plants down to within a foot of the ground in late winter to rejuvenate plants in the spring. 

Foliage of California holly grape
Leaves of California holly grape

Pests and disorders of Mahonia, Berberis spp.



  • Rust
    • Mahonia rusts

Environmental disorders



Fruit and foliage of California holly grape
Berrylike fruit

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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