South Texas Gardening with Bob Webster

Holly Bush

Planting a holly bush is a wonderful and easy way to spruce up a dull landscape. Evergreen holly is deciduous and will not lose its leaves over the winter, adding a splash of color against the stark white season.

However, there are certain steps to think about before deciding to plant your holly bush.

Materials Needed:
  • Holly bush, male and female
  • Acidic fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
Step 1–A Good Location
Holly bushes thrive with plenty of sun. Choose a spot where it won’t be overshadowed by the house or other trees. A location with acidic soil is best, though they are a resilient plant wherever you place them. Also, be aware of nearby structures and any sort of pipes and lines underground. Holly roots grow strong and spread wide, and can cause damage if planted near a sidewalk, too close to the house or above pipes and power lines. If necessary, contact a Utility Locating Service to find the safest place to plant.
Another note on location: holly requires cross-pollination. That means if you expect your holly plant to grow those beautiful red berries for which it's famous at Christmas time, you not only need to have a male and female plant, but they need to be planted within 30 feet of each other.
In addition to preferring acidic soil, plant holly where run-off will occur, to keep the soil from becoming too soggy.
Step 2–Growing From Seeds
Holly is a slow growing plant. If you plan to grow from seeds, expect a long wait before you see anything magnificent. The seeds themselves have a protective coating on them that prevents growth for months at a time, so that it can lay dormant and safe through the winter. They typically need to start indoors, in moist soil, for a solid 12 weeks before being ready to be put in the ground.
Step 3-Planting
When put to ground, it's best to do so during the fall, especially in warmer climates. This gives your holly plenty of time for the roots to take hold before onset of a hot, dry summer. Also, especially during summer, if your soil isn’t very acidic, consider using an acidic fertilizer every now and then.
Once they do start to grow, they only average about 6 inches or less per year. Even with both male and female plants, it could be several years before either plant begins growing berries or showing any other signs of gender. Unless you want bragging rights later for growing your trees from “scratch,” it is simpler to just buy and plant an already growing holly tree.
Step 3–Spring And Summer Care
For the most part, holly will take care of itself, as long as it's placed to receive the best sunlight and you have regular rainfall. If going through a drought, you may need to occasionally water your tree, but be mindful not to overdo it. If the soil becomes soggy, you’ve probably watered too much.
The berries are harmful to humans, and eating them can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If your holly has started growing berries, and you have younger children, it is a good idea to pick or prune the berries that are within reach for the kids. Another option is to not plant a male and female at the same time until the children are older.
Step 4–Autumn and Winter
It's important to prune your holly in the fall in order to promote stronger growth the following spring. It is possible to prune your holly to specific designs once the plant gets thicker over the years. Also, you can cut Christmas decorations, such as wreaths, from a thick holly bush.
Planting and caring for holly is a fairly simple process, and there's no doubt why it's so popular. All in all, holly is a plant that just about anybody can plant and enjoy!

holly bush(scale on bush)

holly bush(scale on bush)

Search: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What is your favorite flower?
View Results