Holly bush plants are generally small evergreen trees or shrubs that provide privacy. They are slow growing plants that can have lush, green foliage year round and bright red ornamental berries in the fall and winter months.
Holly trees create dense privacy hedges that form borders around your landscape. The tallest holly tree we offer is the Oakleaf Holly, which can grow up to 14 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Some smaller hollies include Soft Touch Holly and Dwarf Burford Holly. The small hollies are perfect for filling in gaps in your landscape and adding a green touch.
These shrubs are low maintenance and require little pruning throughout their life only to maintain the desired shape. Hollies are rarely affected by pests or diseases making them the perfect choice for many landscapes. Most of them can grow across the United States in various regions and planting sites.
Hollies prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade especially in locations where there are very hot summers because they are drought tolerant. These plants like well draining, acidic soils but most are not picky and will adapt.
We offer several types of holly shrubs that come in different shapes and sizes. Note the Sky Pencil Holly for a columnar growing plant that fits in small spaces. Once established, they will require little to no maintenance to keep their green leaves thriving.
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Holly Bush Care
Types of Holly Bushes
Perfect Plants offers 7 different holly bush varieties for you to choose from. With dense, evergreen foliage and easy care and maintenance. You’ll find plants that stay small and compact such as the dwarf holly bush ‘Carissa’ or larger varieties such as the Dwarf Burford which can be trained into a small holly tree. There is something for everyone and every planting site!
How to Prune Holly Bushes
Pruning holly bushes should happen to maintain the desired size and shape of the shrub. You can use hand shears or clippers to cut back dead branches or leaves. You can even prune your shrub into a holly bush tree! Small holly shrubs will need minimal pruning, only to rejuvenate the plants after years of growing or when the leaves don't look vibrant!
When to Prune Holly Bushes
The best time to prune holly bushes is in late winter or early spring while the plants are in dormancy. This will ensure you do not cut off any flowers that will eventually turn into holly bush berries. You can shape the holly shrubs at virtually any time of the year except late summer or early fall, or else you risk cutting off the berries which can be an essential source of food for native birds.
What is the Best Fertilizer for Holly Bushes?
Holly bushes prefer acidic soil and the best type of fertilizer for hollies should be a well balanced slow release fertilizer. Fertilizing in early spring will ensure rapid new, healthy growth for a full year before needing fertilization again. Improper pH levels may cause yellowing of the leaves. You can also use compost or organic matter at any time of the year around the base of the plant to give a good boost of nutrients. Keep a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture.
Landscaping with Holly Bushes
Holly bushes can be planted anywhere but their mature size should be taken into consideration when choosing a spot in your landscape. Holly bush hedges are very common when landscaping with holly shrubs because they are quick growers and can provide privacy from busy streets or nosey neighbors quickly! You can also plant holly bushes as single specimen plants, in containers, mass planted, or in foundation plantings.
Transplanting Holly Bushes
It is possible to transplant holly bushes! The best time to do so is in early spring so it has the whole growing season to reestablish its roots. Hollies have shallow root systems that are easy to dig up without doing too much harm to the plant. Be sure to dig up to the bottom of the root ball and quickly move the bush to its new location. The less time it is spent out of the ground, the better! Water thoroughly
Do Holly Bushes Like Acidic Soil?
Holly bushes do like slightly acidic soil that is well draining with a pH between 5-6. You can lower the pH by adding acidifying substances while amending the soil. Perfect Plants also formulates their very own Acidic Potting Soil Mix to aid in the planting process.
Are There Any Holly Bush Diseases?
Holly evergreen shrubs are susceptible to some diseases but with proper care and maintenance, it is not hard to keep them healthy! Some diseases they may contract are root rot, mites, leaf miners, scale, or canker. Root rot is only common if the plant gets wet feet from not having well draining soil (careful, this can kill your holly shrub!). Horticultural oil is a good treatment for any fungal diseases and insecticidal soap is a good treatment for any pest issues. Good luck!