Holly is an often-forgotten about evergreen shrub that provides great interest throughout the garden season.


There are over 400 varieties of Holly but only several that grow in our zone 5 climate. And those would be the ones available at local nurseries. Dark green glossy leaves but most noted for its red berries or fruit, it requires a male and female plant in order for the female plant to bear fruit. Growers have made that even easier by planting both shrubs in the same pot, i.e. Boy Girl Holly or Prince and Princess Holly etc.

Hollies need evenly moist soil, will grow from full sun to part shade. I prefer them more in the shade as I find they can experience some sunburn in full sun. They are slow growing and unfortunately will not reach the heights of their English cousins. They also like the soil acidic which makes them great companions to Rhododendrons in part shade.  Holly are easily pruned to keep the best shape for your garden.


I must admit I often forget to put it into my designs and am usually reminded about it as I want to use cuttings inside my house at Christmas time. I think it is time to put one in my garden, how about you?

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