How to Plant Holly Plants


Holly plants are well known for their foliage and berries. This plant can be found as both a bush and a tree. Careful consideration should be given to the timing and placement when planting holly. Properly planting the holly will help ensure you have a productive and attractive addition to your landscape.

Step 1

Find a good spot for the holly plants. Holly does not transplant well, so select a permanent location from the start. Select a location with partial shade during the day and a well-draining, sandy soil. .

Step 2

Wait until cooler weather sets in to plant the holly; use a time frame of late autumn or early spring to plant so the holly has time to establish its root system. Read the instructions that come with the plant, as different varieties of holly require different spacing between plants.

Step 3

Set the container holding the plant where it is being planted. Use the spade to dig an outline in the sod three times the diameter of the plant container. Move the container aside and dig the hole. Make the hole a few inches deeper than the root ball.

Step 4

Remove the holly plant from the container. Use the garden shovel to separate the container from the soil by inserting the shovel around the inside edge of the container all the way around. Turn the entire plant, with the container, on its side. Grasp the base of the holly plant with one hand and hold the container with the other. Gently pull the plant out of the container and set the container aside. Stand the holly plant upright.

Step 5

Set the root ball of the holly plant into the hole. If the base of the holly plant is below ground level, put soil under the root ball to raise the plant to be even with the ground. Backfill the soil into the hole to cover the root ball. Tamp down the soil with the shovel.

Step 6

Apply fertilizer to the soil around the holly plant. Water the soil until it is damp but not wet. This will allow the fertilizer to enter into the soil.

Step 7

Set up wire mesh fencing around the base of the holly plant if rabbits or other animals are a problem.. Unwind the roll to the desired length and cut the wire with the wire cutters. Decide which side will be on the ground and cut the first two horizontal rows of wire between each vertical row; leave the vertical rows to form the posts that will go into the ground. Place the wire fencing around the holly plant and push the vertical posts into the ground up to the first horizontal row. This will keep rabbits and other creatures from stripping the bark.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Shovel
  • Hand shovel
  • Nitrogen-rich fertilizer
  • Garden hose
  • Wire mesh
  • Wire cutters


  • Daily Telegraph: How to Grow Holly
  • The Garden Helper: How to Plant and Grow Holly Trees
Keywords: planting holly, holly plants, ornamental landscaping

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.