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Fast Growing Evergreen Privacy Invites Native Birds to the Landscape
The Ilex Crenata Steeds Holly Bush, also known as Steeds Japanese holly, is an easy-care evergreen that can be grown just about anywhere. It’s a hardy little evergreen shrub that can tolerate air temperatures that dip below zero or rise above 100 F.
This holly shrub is deer resistant but birds love to flock to it. The berry production in the winter feeds birds and the dense foliage creates a safe hide-away from predators.
If you’re looking for year-round green landscape color and a bird-attracting plant that requires minimal care, the Ilex holly 'Steeds' plant will make a good choice.
Steeds upright holly variety has glossy green foliage that gets darker as it ages. The foliage is triangular-shaped and remains green year-round.
The shrub will produce tiny white blooms in late summer that will last through late fall. When the flowers fade, small red berries appear that will darken to a bluish-black color during the winter. If the colorful berries are not eaten by birds, they will add another layer of winter color to the dark green foliage.
Ilex Steeds Holly take on another dimension of architectural interest in the landscape after a winter snowfall. The natural pyramid shape (or another shape you may prune the shrub into) covered with snow is very attractive. The dense foliage keeps the snow on top of the shrub and the strong branches can withstand the weight of the snow without breaking.
Landscaping Steeds Holly
The attractive Ilex Steed holly is ideal for use as a living privacy fence. While it doesn’t grow too tall (usually around 6 feet maximum) the evergreen shrub is dense and will make a good year-round view blocker.
The dense foliage also makes them good to use as a windbreak along the property line. Plant them 2-3 feet apart when used as a privacy screen or windbreak.
This holly variety can also be used as a specimen plant, as part of a mixed border grouping, as a foundation shrub, or in containers at the entryway. The natural shape and green foliage make the shrub ideal for decorating during the holidays.
Japanese Steeds Holly Care
Ilex Steed hollies are hardy in USDA growing zones 5-9 but can tolerate colder and warmer climates also. Plant in spring or fall in a location that is in full or partial sun.
Hollies grow best in slightly acidic soil but they’re not picky as long as the soil drains well. Water regularly. Once a week during the hottest part of summer.
Feed the shrub once a year in the early spring with a balanced fertilizer.
Steeds Holly Size
The shrub will reach a mature size of 6-8 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide. Container-grown hollies grow slower and will reach 3 feet tall and equally as wide when mature.
How Fast Does Steeds Holly Grow?
The Steeds Holly growth rate has an upright growth habit and will grow 6-12 inches per year.
The shrub can be pruned to shape annually. Ilex Steed hollies are often pruned to create a sharp cone shape or round ball. Can be pruned to a low-growing box shape too.
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Sunlight Full Sun / Partial Shade
Mature Width 4-5 ft
Mature Height 6-8 ft
Growing Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9