The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. What is the variety of holly that seems to grow wild in the woods of Va., can it transplanted and trimmed to make a nice privacy hedge? Some holly bushes grow to about 6 feet tall, while others can reach 50 feet and higher! Location, location, location. 'Little Red' holly (Ilex x 'Little Red') is an example of a medium-sized holly plant. There are dwarf yaupon holly shrubs that are over 10 feet wide. Asked by libby on September 17, 2012. The quintessential Christmas variety, for example, is English holly, which grows best in Zone 6. If you want to decorate your home with holly next Christmas, plant an extra bush or two so you don’t have to take too much from one. Furthermore, holly bushes grow back even after all their branches are cut off. Variety matters. Pick the right time to plant. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. American holly trees are native to the southeastern United States and many states along the Atlantic coast. They stand out spectacularly against the … It is a deer-resistant tree. Asked January 13, 2016, 9:48 AM EST. Holly plants (Ilex spp.) From the sound of the size and habit, I'm going to guess this is an American holly tree (Ilex opaca). Short of digging the entire root system up and pulling up the stump, is there an easier way to get rid of a holly bush? This last option by far takes the longest. In the spring small, white flowers form right before the new growth emerges. All holly trees and shrubs are dioecious, meaning there are distinct male and female plants. The plants come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from spreading dwarf shrubs 6 inches in height to trees 70 feet tall. These plants are considered Meserve hybrids, developed by amateur horticulturist Kathleen Kellogg Meserve as the hardy standard holly in garden centers and nurseries everywhere. wild Holly bushes. Late fall, early winter, or early spring are generally the best times to plant, depending on your climate and the holly variety you’ll be planting. 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. Gardeners use the versatile holly plant in several different ways. According to the USDA Forest Service, holly berries are also eaten in winter by: The hollies with which people are most familiar are English holly (Ilex aquifolium) and American holly (Ilex opaca). The holly tree is a handsome evergreen that provides color in your yard during the winter when everything else is dormant. All rights reserved. This would be about 20 or even 30 feet wide and tall! All hollies prefer to grow in acidic soils, which is why in nature they do so well in oak forests. Learn how to grow and care for this traditional holiday bush. The dense twiggy habit displays an abundance of black berries through winter, accenting the evergreen foliage. As broadleaf evergreens, hollies make ideal privacy screens around pools because there are no leaves or needles to clean up. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, 'Jersey Knight' (a good male pollinator to use with 'Jersey Princess'), 'Canary,' which has yellow berries instead of red ones. But the popular plant is just as gorgeous at other times of the year, creating a lush, dense backdrop with a pop of color. Related Questions. Its prickly leaves are a dark green color. That being said, most hollies are very tolerant of less than ideal locations and will grow well in part shade or dry or swampy soil. These are some of the most common and popular varieties of the holly tree, each with their unique characteristics, features and uses. They don’t like to be transplanted, so think carefully about where you’ll plant. The Burford holly is a larger plant and grows 8 to 25 feet tall and spans 5 to 10 feet wide, advises North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. American holly is a slow grower and typically matures to a height of 30 feet (but may be taller in the wild). So if you want your hollies to grow berries, you must plant both female and male plants together. Its foliage turns darker green with age. Plant each Nellie Stevens Holly 5 to 6 feet apart for a living wall that gives you complete privacy, no holes and no gaps. 2. 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Some holly bushes grow to about 6 feet tall, while others can reach 50 feet and higher! ©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. If your winterberry hollies experience drought stress, they may not form fruit or may drop … Holly plants (Ilex spp.) Though it's generally a low-maintenance shrub, you will need to prune your plant in order to keep its size under control and to promote the growth of lateral buds and shoots. suitable for your landscape is as near as your local garden center. The American holly grows to a height of 40–50' and a spread of 18–40' at maturity. With more than 400 species, a holly (Ilex spp.) This evergreen produces attractive red berries and has a moderate growth rate. Hollies, like other plants, can make different types of leaves at the same time. From a distance, Japanese holly and dwarf yaupon holly appear almost identical. Chinese holly attracts bumblebees and tolerates a … 1 Response. Privacy Policy. Holly bushes do best in well-drained, moderately acidic soil, in full sun. How to Plant Holly Bushes. Ilex is among the few plants that can grow in all USDA plant hardiness zones (or in all 50 U.S. states). This holly is a hybrid between I. cassine and I. opaca. Perfect for Asian-inspired gardens, at home in the woodland setting, or as a controlled source of unique texture in formal settings. Who played Holly in The Lovely Bones? When planted in this way, Nellie Stevens Hollies typically reach a height between 15 and 25 feet. How big do holly bushes get? Most types bear red or orange berries. Its dense but layered form is perfect for a natural hedge or even as an edging plant for taller flowering shrubs. Some varieties of English holly plants grow quite tall, so be careful what you buy. Ilex is among the few plants that can grow in all USDA plant hardiness zones (or in all 50 U.S. states). The shrubs and trees themselves may be rounded, pyramidal, columnar, or weeping in form. Tips from David Austin Roses on pampering your petals. All Rights Reserved. Ilex aquifolium ‘Silver Queen’ Ilex aquifolium ‘Silver Queen’ is grown for its distinctive foliage – it … The bright red berries that make holly so attractive don’t grow on the male plants of many varieties. From its waxy, pointy green leaves to its signature bright-red berries, the cheerful, festive holly bush is often associated with Christmas. Learn how to find, propagate and grow old, antique rose varieties to add beauty and fragrance to your garden. Another characteristic that sets it apart from other common hollies is its tolerance for a variety of growing conditions. And, of course, holly is prized for Christmas decorations, both indoors and outdoors. The tree grows to be 30 to 45 feet tall and creates a moderately tight, pyramidal shape. It would be a shame to miss the Holly berries, as they truly complete the Holly plants display value in the landscape. This handsome, underused shrub produces its lovely blooms in midsummer when few other shrubs are flowering. Chinese holly grows up to 15 tall and 7 feet wide. Related Types. English holly (Ilex aquifolium) is one of the most common with its familiar glossy, dark-green spiky leaves and bright red berries used for Christmas displays. Make sure you choose a plant that’s the right size for your landscape — and that will thrive in your climate. Bird watchers, take note: Several bird species are attracted to holly shrubs, including thrushes and blackbirds. Are holly bushes poisonous to dogs? Join the party! The USDA Forest Service, establishing the northern end of American holly's range, remarks that the Pilgrims noted American holly's presence in Massachusetts when they landed in 1620. With more than 400 species of fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, hollies (Ilex spp.) Do Male Holly Berry Bushes Get Berries On Them. By using The Spruce, you accept our, 10 Best Evergreens for Privacy Screens and Hedges, Best Salt-Tolerant Plants for Landscaping, Weeping Cherry Trees and Other Cascading Trees. Holly bushes grow to be quite large. Winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata) is one of the deciduous types of this group. Leaf shapes range from the large, spiny leaves of holiday tradition, to tiny, smoother ones that are often mistaken for boxwood. You can start cuttings taken from a healthy tree and start several new holly trees without paying for anything besides sterile potting … are a diverse lot, American holly being just one of many types. Virginia. A very nice evergreen shrub for most any landscape. An example of American holly is Ilex opaca 'Mac's Prince,' which grows in zones 5 through 9. Holly is perhaps most commonly used to add visual interest to color-starved landscapes in winter. Weed often, and prune regularly so that the holly doesn’t choke itself out. 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