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Can anybodyhelp me identify my strange pot plant?

Kent, United Kingdom Gb

Hi - I am new here so apologies if I unwittingly break any posting etiquette... I have a strange plant by my front door (which faces North West), it was left by the previous owners and I have done nothing to it in the year we have been in our cottage. I had thought it was half dead but it seems to thrive on total neglect as it has really thrived and has actually begun to look quite pretty in the last month or two. Can anybody tell me what this plant is from the photo? The older leaves are stiff and prickly and green, the new leaves are rusty red and soft.

On plant No idea!




Welcome to GoY! I think your plant could be a type of holly. Does it have flowers or berries at any time? I am sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon to help you!

8 Jun, 2008


It isn't holly. It looks like Mahonia. Does it have yellow flowers in the winter ? If so then I think it's Mahonia.

8 Jun, 2008


Hello Grammazo, thanks for the super-quick answer! No it hasn't had any berries or flowers, at least not since last July until now. I'd love to move it so I don't keep scratching myself but want to make sure I find it a happy postion!

8 Jun, 2008


Thanks Blodyn - no haven't seen any yellow flowers either. Will look up Mahonia in case though...

8 Jun, 2008


Bodyn - I've just google searched for Mahonia and have found some pictures that are almost identical to my plant! It definitely didn't flower in the winter, but maybe I just didn't notice or it's biannual or something? Great advice - thanks so much!

8 Jun, 2008


If it had flowered you would have noticed. The flowering spikes are not small and are usually fragrant. They also come every year. It will be quite happy in shade. If you want to move it I don't think you should do so in the summer. Good luck with it.

8 Jun, 2008


This is definitely Mahonia but which one remains to be seen. Your plant is quite small so it may well not have flowered yet. It is obviously growing since it has new reddish leaves. It will grow a lot more planted in the ground.

8 Jun, 2008


Celandine - thank you for the confirmation! Now I think carefully it was a lot smaller just under a year ago so it has definitely been growing! It desperately needs re-potting, it has burst through the bottom of the plastic container it was in and rooted intself to the small layer of dirt and soil at the bottom of the large stone pot it sits in. It's going to be a painful job moving it!

Blodyn - I am so green behind the ears (and not around the fingers) - when should I move it if not summer? Can I re-pot it in summer?

8 Jun, 2008


You could repot it in summer I suppose. The thing is not to disturb the roots too much when it is in growth. Just take it out of the pot and put it in the ground or a bigger pot and fill in around it
The thing is when you dig a plant up you're bound to damage its roots. Summer is the season when plants grow most quickly, so you don't want to do that to them if atall possible because they need a lot of water, and they get it through the roots.
If it has rooted into the soil as you say, and you want to move it in summer, I think it would be best done on a wet day and also make sure you water it in well even in the rain. Keep watering it through the summer aswell. It may die back slightly or lose a few leaves but as long as you keep an eye on it, it should recover.
The best time really to move it if it has rooted into the ground would be autumn, but I suspect it is in your way if you're being scratched by it, so it's really up to you - either move it, keep a watchful eye and hope for the best, or leave it till autumn and be careful not to get scratched in the meantime.
Sorry this is a bit long-winded. I'm not very good at explaining things with words, but I hope it helps.

8 Jun, 2008


The leaf shape very similar to Mahonia 'Charity' .Re pot now as should flower in winter , autumn a bit late for settling new roots before flowering.

8 Jun, 2008


common name Mahonia latin name Mahonia and the variety name x media we can't see if it's the 'Charity ' or not this shrub is my favourite your are luck because i'am growing with seed and it's not so easy

sorry for my english

8 Jun, 2008


Welcome to GOY!You will like the flowers of your Mahonia when it does bloom, as they should appear in the late autumn or winter and they are fragrant!

8 Jun, 2008


Yup, Mahonia :-)

9 Jun, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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