Carissa Holly

Carissa Holly

2 reviews
  • Drought and heat tolerant

  • Low maintenance

Regular price $29.95 Sale price $24.95 17% off

  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way
  • Ships in 1-2 business days
  • Buy direct from the grower
  • Family owned farm since 1980
  • You're good to grow this in Zone X

Compact Holly With Evergreen Foliage & Red Fruit

If you live in a warmer climate and struggle to keep your plants alive in the summer heat, the Carissa Holly shrub will be a breath of fresh air! This cultivar of holly is exceptionally drought tolerant and heat tolerant and will thrive even on the hottest days.

A favorite compact, dense holly shrub with glossy dark green leaves that feature one terminal spine at the tip. The moderately showy clusters of fragrant white flowers that appear in early spring are followed by produced berries in fall and winter. As with many holly varieties, these berries are an excellent food source for wildlife including birds and squirrels.

Ilex cornuta Carissa holly bush is a great option for a low hedge, in containers, or in mass plantings, and provides a rich green background for flowering plants. The Carissa Chinese Holly won’t disappoint and is well established in the landscape!

Carissa Holly Care & Maintenance

This evergreen shrub grows up to 3-4 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide making it perfect for foundational plantings. The Carissa Holly growth rate is slow up to 3-5 inches per year.

It can be grown in the southern United States in USDA plant hardiness zones 7-9. Plant in full sun to partial shade and in well drained, slightly acidic soils.

Be sure to water thoroughly the first year of planting to establish a strong root system and to keep the dark green foliage thriving. Irrigation once established may be a good idea if you live in an area with warmer temperatures and little rainfall.

It is relatively free of pests and diseases, but a slow release fertilizer at the top of the root ball will help give it that boost it needs in early spring. This will help maintain good leaf color and adequate growth.

The lush green foliage of the holly ilex cornuta carissa is a favorite of ours for the bright red berries and glossy green leaves. You can even prune this shrub into a Carissa tree.

Shop Carissa Holly bush for sale.

Shipping information

Once your Carissa Holly order is placed, we will ship your plant(s) within seven business days year round unless during the checkout process you request otherwise in the space provided to do so.

Perfect Plants’ shipping specialists carefully package your plants using a proven packaging method that ensures your plants arrive healthy, colorfully alive and ready to flourish. We’ve coined the term ‘upside down box test’ and we do just that; we carefully package so that regardless of the direction your box is handled, it will not harm your precious plant that’s inside.

No shipping process is without a problem from time to time. On rare occasions some plants may experience some of the following during their transit: drooping, minor leaf-loss and/or minimal yellowing/discoloration, minor limb damage, etc. These instances are quite rare, but can happen when shipping plants in boxes.

Plants normally recover within a few weeks after planting. If a damaged box has injured your plant on the inside, please notify us within 5 days of receiving you package(s) by emailing us a photograph of the damage.

We always do our very best to ensure that your plants are packed and shipped in the safest, gentlest and most effective way possible.

Will my plants and trees look like the photographs?

Absolutely! Unlike other online nurseries, our photos are of actual plants and trees we’ve grown here, on our family operated nursery.

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Growing our own plants and trees helps to ensure we ship you the best quality plants that are free of pests and diseases.

Your plants and trees may however not ship with flowers on them, like the photographs. This all depends on the time of year you buy your plant or tree. Crape Myrtle trees, for example, only bloom during the summer months, so if you purchase one during the spring or fall, they would ship without flowers. Once planted, your plants will grow and thrive giving you flowers for many years to come!

Pot Sizes

Pot sizes (commonly referred to in gallons) are shipped in the same size nursery trade pots which may vary in actual volume. Some plants may have been at the approximate pot size listed, but require excess dirt to be removed so that you will not be paying any additional shipping costs. This doesn’t happen very often though.

Shipping Fees

Our shipping charges are based on the value of your order.  Please use the chart below to see what your shipping charge will be.



The Carissa holly prefers full sun to partial shade. Especially in the hotter climates, afternoon shade is appreciated. Soil should be well-drained and ideally somewhat acidic. They are quite drought tolerant when mature, but should be watered regularly until established.

This shrub maintains a dense, mounded shape naturally that requires very little pruning. Any stray, leggy branches should be trimmed to maintain shape and dead or broken branches should be removed at the base.

For a hedgerow, space the Carissa 4-5 feet apart from their centers.


Dig a hole approximately twice as wide as your new plant’s root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball is equal with the ground level.

Loosen the root ball using a small garden spade or by hand. Breaking smaller outer roots can encourage growth into the new soil, but take care to not damage large primary roots.

Place the plant in the hole and ensure that it is situated evenly upright. Use the excavated soil to fill in around the root ball, using your foot to pack it in firmly. Thoroughly soak with a hose as you fill in the dirt. Take great care to not leave any gaps or air spaces around the root ball as this could kill the plant.

A 2-4 inch layer of mulch is strongly recommended to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth. Apply mulch over the entire planting area but keep away from the stems or trunk by a few inches. Ensure that the plant and surrounding soil is completely soaked with water.

To ensure the proper nutrients are available for the life of your Carissa holly, our proprietary Perfect Plants Special Blend Soil and a once yearly application of Nutricote Total 360 Fertilizer are great considerations for your new plants!

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Botanical Name
Ilex cornuta 'Carissa'

Full Sun / Partial Shade

Flower Color

Foliage Color
Dark green

Mature Width
4-6 ft

Mature Height
3-4 ft

Growing Zones 7, 8, 9

Customer Reviews
4.5 Based on 2 Reviews
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Cara C.

My carissa holly shipped in excellent condition and is growing nicely in the border of my garden! Thank you


Staff was extremely helpful and patient. Can't wait to receive plants.

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