Growing Holly

November 30, 2016

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A traditional element in holiday decor, holly plants also provide beauty yearround in the landscape.

Increase your growing success by selecting a variety suited to your growing conditions. Most hollies prefer full sun to part shade and moist well-drained acidic soil. This is often a limiting factor for those gardening in heavy clay and alkaline soils. Amending the soil with organic matter and using acidifying fertilizers can help.

Evergreen hollies need some protection from drying winter sun and wind that can cause the leaves to brown.

Most hollies need at least one male for every five female plants to develop fruit. Select male plants listed as good pollinators for the female holly you select.  Since hollies are insect pollinated the male only needs to be within 1/8 a mile of the female for pollination to occur.

A bit more information:  Label your male and female hollies so if one plant dies you know which gender needs replacing. Otherwise watch for the small flowers in spring. Male flowers have several straight pin-like structures in the center called stamen. Female flowers have a swollen berry-like structure in its center.

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