Holly is a beautiful plant which can be grown almost
anywhere except Australia and Antarctica. Most holly
varieties are evergreen and have red berries which attract
birds, squirrels and deer in the wintertime.
Select your holly carefully. Hollies range in size from 6
inches to 70 feet tall. While many aren't hardy to USDA
zones below 5 or 6 there are hollies that will survive in
colder climates. Protect hollies from cold drying winds in
the northern zones.
The holly which everyone is familiar with at Christmas time
is the English holly (ilex aquifolium). This variety is
only hardy to zone 6.
In order to produce berries female holly plants need a male
plant growing within 30 to 40 feet away.
Hollies like full sun, well drained organic acidic soil.
Hollies need to be pruned to produce a plant with lots of
leaves. They can be shaped to almost any geometrical
design. Just prune back the tips of the current seasons
growth any time after late summer throughout autumn and
Mulch holly to keep it weed free.
Hollies don't like to be transplanted. Buy small plants and
plant them in their permanent position. If transplanting an
established plant remove it very carefully with a large
root ball in late winter or early spring.
Protect holly plants from rabbits.
Hollies with few berries could be experiencing problems of
poor pollination, high nitrogen in the soil, and damage to
blossoms from spring frosts.
Finally, you may need numerous individual plants so you
don't hack the poor things to death every Christmas.
Also, if you plan to use your pruned holly branches indoors
for Christmas decoration, be sure to plant several holly
plants in order to not take too much from any one plant.
For more information on holly growing care visit:
Marilyn Pokorney is a freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the
environment. She also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.
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