- How to Kill Holly Bushes
- How to Plant a Dwarf Burford Holly
- How to Care for a Soft Touch Holly
- How to Prune Nellie Stevens Holly
- How to Feed Holly Bushes
- What Type of Fertilizer for Holly Bushes?
- How to Prune Savannah Holly Trees
- Varieties of Japanese Holly
- The Best Holly Tree to Plant
- Are the Berries on Holly Plants Poisonous?
- What is the Growth Rate of a Holly Tree?
- Does a Maple Tree Have Holly Berries?
- How to Prune Japanese Holly
- The Best Fertilizer for Holly Trees
- How to Winterize a Holly Berry Bush
Prickly and prevalent, holly bushes return with a vengeance if you simply cut the top off the bush. To completely rid yourself of the bush, you must dig it up. This method, though requiring more physical labor, produces more instantaneous results than using a weed killer on the stump. Digging up the plant will protect nearby plants from damage incurred from using a herbicide.
Cut off the leaves and branches of the holly bush with a hedge trimmer or shears.
Saw the main stem (trunk) as close to the ground as possible with a wood saw.
Push the end of a shovel into the ground 2 feet away from the stump.
Create a ring around the holly bush by pushing the shovel into the ground 2 feet from the stump of the holly bush.
Dig 1 to 2 feet down into the ground within this ring around the bush stump, using the end of the shovel to cut through any roots you encounter.
Lift the base of the stump from the center of the circle as soon as you can get your shovel under its base.
Discard the parts of the holly bush with other yard waste.
Choose a location with partial to full sun. Choose full sun if you want the most berries and flowers on your holly.
Dig planting holes twice as wide and as deep as the root ball on your dwarf Burford holly plants. Space the holes 3 feet apart if you are planting a hedge, to allow for future growth. Remove any rocks or hard clods from the planting holes.
Set the plants in the planting holes. Add back in some of the soil you removed to ensure the root ball of the new shrubs is level with the ground. Fill in around the plants with the soil you removed.
Water lightly to settle the soil around the roots.
Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the new plants to help conserve moisture.
Water the Soft Touch holly only if there is little rainfall. Drench the soil to a depth of 6 inches, once a week. If your holly is planted in clay soil, water every other week.
Fertilize the Soft Touch holly in the middle of March with a fertilizer labeled for use on acid-loving plants. Apply it at the rate suggested on the label by spreading it on the soil beneath the shrub and out to 1 1/2 feet beyond the widest branches. Do not allow the fertilizer to touch the holly shrub's trunk. Water after fertilizing to soak the product into the soil.
Spread a 3-inch layer of peat moss over the soil, 1 foot away from the trunk, and spread 1 foot beyond the outermost tips of the branches. Replace the peat moss mulch annually with a fresh layer.
Prune the Soft Touch to remove dead or dying branches. Cut them back until you see healthy wood, and make the cut 1/2-inch above a leaf.
Inspect the Soft Touch holly periodically for pests. The most common pest on the shrub is the spider mite, and it strikes during hot, dry weather. Use a miticide labeled for use on holly plants at the first sign of infestation.
Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches at the base of the Nellie R. Stevens holly.
Cut back any over-reaching branches to the first healthy bud.
Thin 10 to 15 percent of all the branches, cutting them back to the trunk.
Remove branches at the base of the holly if you want to be able to walk under it. Cut the branches back to the trunk of the tree. If you are growing Nellie R. Stevens holly as a hedge, do no prune the bottommost branches.
Follow all of the safety instructions on the fertilizer label. Fertilizers contain chemicals that could irritate your skin. Most fertilizers require you to wear long clothing, gloves and a mask.
Measure the height of your holly bush in feet. You will need this information to know how much fertilizer to use to feed your holly bush.
Choose your fertilizer. Fort Valley State University recommends using either an 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer.
Sprinkle 1 tbsp. fertilizer around the base of your holly bush for every foot you measured earlier. For example, if your holly bush is 5 feet tall, you would need 5 tbsp. fertilizer.
Water the holly bushes so that the fertilizer seeps down into the soil where the roots are.
Holly is native to the eastern and southern states as these areas have more naturally acidic soils. To grow elsewhere, the soil probably will need treatment to increase the acidity level.
Holly is a perennial that needs a fertilizer based for acid-needing plants--a mixture that contains cottonseed meal or one formulated for evergreens. Do not use a fertilizer high in nitrogen, such as an ordinary lawn fertilizer. The one you choose should be applied either in late fall or early spring.
Look for a fertilizer that is made for broad-leaved evergreens that need acidic soils, such as the type used on rhododendrons.
Your holly should be planted in a semi-shaded area that is well-drained with soil that has a pH level between 5 and 6. Adding of 2 to 4 inches of coarse mulch help because that will help keep the root system moist and cool.
The holly bush, whether fertilized or not, can easily turn into a tree up to 50 feet tall. So unless that is your plan, prepare to do pruning.
Cut out all dead and damaged branches. Make the cut 1/2 inch above a leaf, at a 45-degree angle.
Force the Savannah holly branches to grow in the desired direction by cutting them back to a bud that is facing in that direction. For instance, to make the holly branch grow upward, cut the branches just above an upward-facing bud.
Paint large pruning wounds with an asphalt-based wound dressing. Arborists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest that this will keep boring insects out of the wood. Follow the instructions on the dressing's label and do not over-apply.
The Japanese beehive holly is a compact, globe shaped holly that can grow to between 3 and 4 feet. This Japanese holly is cold tolerant down to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zone 5. The leaves of this holly are shiny green. Beehive holly does best in light soils that retain water, but drain well, and grows full sun to partial shade. The beehive holly grows white flowers that eventually grow into 1/4-inch black berries.
Compacta Japanese holly grows to between 4 and 5 feet high and wide and is very similar to the other varieties of Japanese holly. This variety grows very slowly and, like other Japanese hollies, has shiny green leaves. Grown best in light conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade, this variety also does best in light soils that drain well while retaining water.
Helleri Japanese holly is a very dense dwarf Japanese holly that grows well in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 8. This holly grows wider than it does tall, averaging 3 to 6 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide. It grows slowly into a dense, squat, ball shape. Like other hollies, it grows best in full sun, but also can grow well in partial shade. Its soil requirements are similar to other hollies, preferring light soils that drain well. Although this holly also features shiny green leaves, its grayish green cast sets it apart from other Japanese hollies.
The Altaclere holly (Ilex x altaclerensis) is tops in the holly tree world. English holly trees are handsome but easily hurt in winter weather. Altaclere holly trees are sturdy and have the shiny leaves of the English holly. The Altaclere holly can grow to 30 feet tall.
For humans, eating more than three holly berries can cause prolonged nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and drowsiness. Holly berries are considered more harmful to children, but are not considered fatal. If you have ingested holly berries and are experiencing an adverse reaction, contact the nearest poison control center.
Ilicin is the toxic principle in many holly berries. Some species, like the English holly, contain the toxin theobromine in the leaves and berries of the plants. Regardless of which type of holly is consumed, ilicin and theobromine produce nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and diarrhea when ingested in quantity. Ilicin is also known to cause dermatitis.
Holly berries are red, black, orange or yellow. Holly is found in many areas across the world. Species of holly are found in Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa, Asia, Northern Iran, North America and Australia.
Holly trees, a variety of tree in the genus Ilex, are found as evergreens while some are deciduous trees that range in growth rate from slow and moderate to rapid, depending upon the variety.
Holly berries can be found on several varieties of evergreens called holly, but are not found on maple trees. Bright red holly berries form on the tree in the fall and persist through early winter.
Maple trees develop double sets of round seed pods that form together and have wings. When the seed pods drop, the wings allow the pods to fall in a spiraling pattern.
Remove any dead, damaged or diseased wood from the Japanese holly plant. Cut the foliage off at the base of the plant.
Trim off any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other at the base of the Japanese holly.
Prune back any over reaching foliage to keep the shrub or hedge looking neat. Cut all the foliage of this nature back to the base of the Japanese holly.
The best fertilizer for holly trees is an acid-based variety that includes nitric acid or cottonseed oil to keep the pH level down. Fertilize the holly tree in the late fall to give it a nutritious boost before the growing season; add a layer of compost to further fertilize the plant and enrich the soil with organic matter.
Decrease watering by half in September to begin hardening off the holly, which helps it survive the winter. In October, resume a normal watering schedule until the first freeze.
Spray the tops and bottoms of all leaves on the holly bush with a antitranspirant spray, which is a wax that prevents moisture loss. You do not need to spray the bark, although it's fine if you do. Read the bottle instructions and reapply as directed throughout the winter, which is typically once per month or more often if heavy rain or snow occurs.
Wait until after the first freeze, then spread a 4- to 5-inch layer of mulch around the base of the holly bush to protect the roots. Extend the mulch out to the length of the branches. To prevent rot, do not let the mulch touch the main stem or trunk of the bush.
Insert a 4- to 5-foot wooden stake at one side of the holly bush, and hammer it into the ground using a mallet until the stake is 6 to 10 inches deep. Insert two more stakes around the bush at equal distances to form a triangle. If the bush is large, use four stakes. Wrap burlap around the stakes, securing it firmly to each with a staple gun.