Loved for their deep green foliage, unique leaf shape and brilliant fall berries, hollies are simple to maintain, especially if they are given a good start at planting. Waiting until the right time of year to plant can help you avoid many common problems, such as leaf burn, and result in a stronger plant over the long term. Providing the right soil conditions and making sure the location you choose is well-drained are important considerations if you want your holly to thrive.
Wait until fall or winter to plant your holly. The best months are October through February. Evergreen holly varieties do best if planted at the end of winter, such as in February, while deciduous hollies prefer being planted in the fall, such as in October. Both can be planted any time of year, but may experience browning on the edges of leaves if planted in summer.
Check the soil. If it is light and well-drained, skip step 3; if it is a heavy, clay-like soil, amendments will be necessary.
Add mulch, potting soil, perlite or sand to the soil to loosen it and help it drain. Hollies need soil that drains well.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the diameter of the holly and as deep as the root.
Moisten the soil completely by filling the hole with water and letting it drain.
Set the holly gently in the hole and remove any wrapping or packaging around the root ball.
Fill the hole, gently patting the soil down, but not compacting it, around the holly.
Place a layer of mulch 2 to 3 inches deep around the holly to help retain moisture and maintain even temperatures.
Water the newly planted holly.
Continue to water regularly, making sure the soil does not dry out completely through the entire first growing season.