Soft Touch Holly Shrub Ilex Crenata

Soft Touch Holly Shrub Ilex Crenata

5 reviews
  • Drought tolerant

  • Low maintenance

  • Soft textured foliage

  • Evergreen

Regular price $29.95

  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way
  • Ships in 2-3 business days
  • Buy direct from the grower
  • Family owned farm since 1980
  • You're good to grow this in Zone X

Dwarf Evergreen Holly with Soft Textured Foliage

Like the Soft Touch Holly shrub’s name suggests, this Ilex crenata cultivar adds a ‘soft touch’ to your garden or landscapes. It is not comparable to other holly varieties with its soft-textured foliage that features no sharp spines.

The Soft Touch compact Holly bush features a unique low, dome-shaped form, flexible branches, and soft to the touch, dark green leaves. The glossy green foliage of the soft holly bush is in a dense mounded form and small shape.

The plant has white flowers that turn into ornamental black berries that line the green shrub during the fall for great winter season interest.

This variety of holly is great for a low foundation plant, soft textured evergreen shrub hedges, or planted in borders as an accent. Soft Touch dwarf Japanese holly is best as a mass planting shrub.


The best time to plant is in the spring or early fall growing season. It is drought tolerant and adapts to a variety of soil conditions. The Ilex Soft Touch Japanese Holly is extremely low maintenance and makes a nice alternative to the Helleri Holly.

Easy to maintain the desired size and shape, this ilex crenata soft touch compact holly does not need much pruning. Grows to about 2-3 feet tall and wide and has a slow growth rate.

You will need to protect this Japanese holly shrub from cold temperature extremes by planting it in full sun or part shaded areas and away from drying winter winds. Mulching around the root area is recommended to moderate temperature fluctuations.

Does best in USDA growing zones 5-9. Prefers slightly acidic soil and the addition of slow release all purpose fertilizer before the new growth of green color. It is intolerant to alkaline soils as it will cause the leaves to yellow. If you are in hot dry weather be sure to keep moist, well drained soils.

Soft touch holly diseases include brown rot, spider mites, and other insects. Proper care and maintenance are required if a problem does occur. Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, and neem oil are excellent choices for protecting your plants.

Shop the Soft Touch Japanese Holly for sale. It is easy to grow and pleasing to the eye! Planting instructions will be included.

Shipping information

Once your Soft Touch Holly Shrub Ilex Crenata 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.

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 and the destination it is being shipped. Please see the chart on the Shipping Info page to get an exact amount. We frequently have a free shipping promotion to help you save!



The Soft Touch Holly prefers full sun but can tolerate afternoon partial shade. Soil should be well drained and ideally somewhat acidic. They are somewhat drought tolerant when mature, but should be watered regularly until established.

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

When planting as a hedge, space the centers of this Holly 3 feet apart.


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 Soft Touch 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 crenata 'Soft Touch'

Full Sun / Partial Shade

Foliage Color

Mature Width
2-3 ft

Mature Height
2-3 ft

Growing Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Customer Reviews
5.0 Based on 5 Reviews
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Holly Came in Great Condition

I was having a hard time finding anyone with SoftTouch Holly in stock in a 2-3 gallon pot. I ordered one from Perfect Plants to replace one that had died out over the winter. It came shipped on time and arrived in good condition. It's now in the ground and doing well so far




Perfect Plants

Hi James, Thank you for the review and the purchase of our Soft Touch Holly Shrub Ilex Crenata! Hope your days are as soft and lovely as this shrub, we thank you again for your support!

Puya P.

Best looking shrub in my garden right now. Completely green and no dead spots. Will mulch for winter.

Lisa D.

Plants were beautiful! They absolutely look beautiful lining my sidewalk.

Sandra L.

I needed a new shrub type for my privacy fence and the soft touch looks great where I planted it.

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