If you live in a warmer climate and struggle to keep your plants alive in the summer heat, the Carissa Holly 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 bright red berries in fall and winter. As with many holly varieties, these berries are an excellent food source for wildlife including birds and squirrels.
This evergreen shrub grows up to 3-4 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide making it perfect for foundational plantings. 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. 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.
The 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 lush green foliage of the holly ilex cornuta carissa is a favorite of ours.
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Ilex cornuta 'Carissa'
- Drought and heat tolerant
- Low maintenance