How to Plant a Dwarf Buford Holly


Dwarf buford hollies are evergreen shrubs with dark green, glossy, stiff, spiny leaves. Dwarf burford hollies can grow to 8 feet and are cold hardy to USDA zone 7. Dwarf burford hollies make good screening hedges, foundation plantings and excellent barrier plants because of their sharp, spiny texture.

Step 1

Choose a full sun to partial shade location in early spring or fall.

Step 2

Water the containerized shrub thoroughly before planting.

Step 3

Dig a hole 3 feet wider and no deeper than the root ball of the holly.

Step 4

Mix the soil you removed with soil amendments, like compost, if desired. Compost enriches the soil and improves its texture and moisture retention. Soil amendment can be detrimental, however, because water drainage may be reduced and roots may not stretch out from the original planting hole, according to North Carolina State University extension.

Step 5

Remove the containerized holly from its pot by turning the pot upside down and catching the root ball as it slides out of the container. Loosen up the roots if they've become overgrown.

Step 6

Set the shrub in at the depth it grew in its container. Gently spread out the roots and cover with the rest of the soil. Firm the soil in around the plant, but avoid compacting the soil. The top of the root ball should be level with the soil surface, with no more than 1 inch of soil covering it.

Step 7

Shape the soil around the shrub to catch water by centering a depression around the trunk and making a raised rim of soil around it, 2 to 3 inches high. The rim does not need maintaining after the holly becomes established and is growing well.

Step 8

Water the transplanted holly and mulch around the planting hole with a 3-inch layer of landscaping mulch.

Step 9

Water the shrub often after planting until new roots and leaves begin to grow well. Chinese hollies are drought tolerant (not drought proof) after establishment.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not add fertilizer at the time of planting because it can burn the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Container-grown dwarf burford holly shrub
  • Digging spade or shovel
  • Mulch


  • North Carolina State University: Planting Shrubs
  • Landscape Plants for Subtropical Climates; Bijan Dehgan; 1998
Keywords: dwarf burford holly, planting dwarf hollies, transplanting hollies

About this Author

Marie Roberts is a freelance writer based in north central Florida. She has a B.S. in horticultural sciences from the University of Florida. Roberts began writing in 2002 and is published in the "Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society."