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Decking Your Landscape with Hollies | Planting Hollies


Dressing Up

Most people think of holiday greenery displays when they hear about Hollies, but Hollies make great evergreen accents in the landscape as well as beautiful additions to holiday decor.

Not all Hollies have leaves with spines on the tips and red berries. Some have dark blue or black berries and rounded leaves. Hollies vary in height greatly with some varieties reaching above 30 feet while some dwarf varieties may be as small as 3 feet. It is important to choose varieties carefully according to space requirements.

Most Chinese and English Hollies which produce berries do so only on the female plant and require a male pollinator planted nearby in order to produce fruit. Japanese Hollies have no such requirement.

Our experts have provided the following information to help you choose the best varieties of Hollies for your landscape. The varieties shown are typical of stock carried in our nurseries, but specific varieties may vary from dealer to dealer. Ask your local Southern States dealer which varieties are available in your area.

Dragon Lady Meserve Hybrid Holly

Ilex x meserveae 'Dragon Lady'
Dragon Lady Meserve Hybrid Holly

This columnar shaped Holly variety works well as a foundation hedge when pruned or as a screen. It reaches a height of 15 feet and can reach 6 feet wide. It produces large red berries on a dense plant.

Burford Chinese Holly

Ilex cornuta 'Burfodii'
Burford Chinese Holly

This variety is known for its heavy crop of bright red berries. It is hardy to Zone 7 and usually reaches a height of 9 - 12 feet. It attracts birds and tolerates poorly drained soil well.

Carissa Chinese Holly

Ilex cornuta 'Carissa'
Carissa Chinese Holly

This plant is a dwarf variety of Chinese Holly that produces a dense plant 3 - 4 feet high. This variety is hardy to Zone 7 and is excellent as a foundation hedge. The foliage is a medium green color and has one spine per leaf.

Needlepoint Holly

Ilex cornuta 'Needlepoint'
Needlepoint Holly

An upright growing evergreen variety with one spine on glossy green foliage. It produces red berries. At maturity, Needlepoint Holly can reach a size of 6 feet x 6 feet making it an excellent variety for hedges and screens.

Green Lustre Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata 'Green Lustre'
Green Lustre Japanese Holly

Japanese Hollies are evergreens hardy to Zone 6 and have a similar look to that of English Boxwood. They grow much more quickly than Boxwood however. This variety is known for its dark green shiny foliage. Japanese Hollies can reach a height of 9 - 12 feet if not pruned back regularly. They make excellent hedges and screens.

Helleri Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata 'Helleri'
Helleri Japanese Holly

This is a low growing, spreading variety of Japanese Holly with a dwarf mounding habit spreading up to 5 feet in width, but only reaching a maximum of 3 feet in height. It is grown for its miniature dark green leaves. It makes an excellent evergreen foundation planting or hedge, or as an evergreen background for bulbs and flowering perennials. It is hardy to Zone 6.

Shamrock Inkberry

Ilex glabra 'Shamrock'
Shamrock Inkberry

An excellent evergreen hedge with a compact habit and slender foliage, this Holly will grow in any soil and is extremely hardy. It tolerates full sun or partial shade. The dark blue to black berries attract birds in the fall, and the plant is both disease and pest resistant. It can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet growing slowly in a rounded habit. This Holly variety is deer resistant.

Red Robin Holly

Ilex X 'Robin™'
Red Robin Holly

This is another in the Red Hybrid series introduced in the mid 1990's by Evergreen and Flowerwood Nurseries. The "red" comes from the tinge of the new growth. This Holly produces lovely large dark green leaves and abundant berries. It is cold hardy and does best when planted in full sun to partial shade. Red Robin Holly can reach a mature size of 14 feet high by 8 feet wide.

Foster Holly

Ilex X attenuata 'Fosterii'
Foster Holly

This larger variety is excellent as a specimen tree reaching a height of 20 feet and a width of 10 feet. It has slender dark green foliage and produces red berries. It grows best in a location with full sun and good drainage.

Nellie R. Stevens Holly

Ilex aquifolium x Ilex cornuta
'Nellie R. Stevens'
Nellie R. Stevens Holly

A hybrid cross of English and Chinese Hollies, this variety survives well in poorly drained soils. It has the classic English look of dark green foliage with spines and bright red berries, but is prone to fewer problems than the true English Holly (Ilex aquifolium). It is a great Holly for planting as a small specimen tree with its dense pyramidal form. This variety is hardy to Zone 6.

Oak Leaf™ Holly

Ilex X 'Oak Leaf™'
Oak Leaf™ Holly

A new hybrid introduced in the mid 1990's as a joint venture between Evergreen and Flowerwood Nurseries, this variety has larger more elongated leaves that are somewhat oak leaf-shaped. It's grows quickly with a tall pyramidal habit reaching a mature size of 14 feet tall by 8 feet wide.

Skypencil Holly

Ilex crenata 'Skypencil'
Skypencil Holly

This narrow columnar grower that needs good drainage and rich moist soil. This variety of Japanese Holly will grow in full sun to partial shade and reach a maximum height of 10 to 12 feet.

Dwarf Yaupon Schillings Holly

Ilex vomitoria 'Nana Schillings'
Dwarf Yaupon Schillings Holly

A slow growing evergreen that tolerates wet conditions well, Dwarf Yaupon Schillings Holly reaches a maximum of 3 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. This makes it a perfect choice for foundation plantings. It grows best in full sun. New growth has a purplish tinge which then turns a lustrous dark green. Dwarf Yaupon Schillings Holly is an excellent choice for planting in coastal areas as it is tolerant of salt in the soil.


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