Planted a Mahonia about two years ago and it suffered frost damage. Seemed to be making a recovery but is still not thriving. Could it be type of soil or position, it is planted in a north facing part of the garden.
Lizzy, Mahonia like moist soil in sun or partial shade if it is one with large leaves.They should flower in late winter early spring and then have berries blue-black.prune them after fruiting back hard in April though this is not always done.It sounds to me as if it is in the wrong place, we all do that, I have plants that have been all over the garden before they found a place they liked.It can be moved by taking as large a root ball as you can manage, have the hole ready and if it is a large leaf then partial shade, that would mean early or late sun but not full south facing, drop it in the hole with the soil at the level it was at before, mulch round it without being too close to the stem and water in, keep moist for a week or so.
Mine is in a north facing situ and is fine. Perhaps the soil is too damp or compacted? You can amend it. Defo not south facing, that makes them woody and lanky and ugly.
I have a mahonia "charity" ( i think) it is in a north east facing position and it is lovely to look at blooming away from october to february in some years. It puts on a nice amount of growth each year and it is looking likely I am going to need to prune out the older shoots soon. It did take a few years to get "in to it's stride", so i would give it a year or so.
Thanks to all - moving it this weekend fingers crossed it survives!
Be patient. Moving evergreens, or indeed any shrub, in mid summer is asking for trouble. Best wait till autumn when it'll have less stress.
Mine is in a bed which gets full sun in mid summer but none in winter and was frozen almost to death 3 winters ago. It was too big to dig out so I cut it all back to the one remaining short stem and it has now, finally, regrown enough to produce flowers next winter - as long as it doesn't get frozen again.
It survived this spring's deep and late frost which clobbered so many other things so fingers crossed..