Holly Guide: Why And How To Grow It?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:05 pm

Holly is a shrub that grows spontaneously in most regions and that everyone knows for its prickly foliage.

In summary, what you need to know:

Houx plante

Holly Guide: Why And How To Grow It?

Name : Ilex
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Type: Shrub

Height: 2 to 5 m
Exposition : Sun and half-shade
Soil : Ordinary

Planting holly

Holly is found in all regions because it is able to adapt to all types of climates. It tolerates all types of soil and is resistant to most weather conditions.

It is preferable to plant in the fall to encourage rooting, but you can plant until spring, avoiding periods of frost.

If you plant in spring, plan to water more regularly the first year after planting.


Holly Herb tolerates the sun but prefers the shade provided by trees in the woods and forests.
It likes a certain amount of moisture and coolness in the soil
Regular watering in spring and summer is important in the first year after planting.
Follow our planting tips.
If you wish to plant a holly in full sun, prefer varieties with variegated foliage.

Pruning of holly

No pruning is necessary for holly, especially since it grows relatively slowly.

You can nevertheless give it the shape you want without any problem.

The best time to prune holly is at the end of winter.
Do not prune in the fall or you will not enjoy its pretty red berries.
Use gloves because its prickles can hurt you.
Avoid putting holly in the compost because its leaves are very tough and will take a long time to compost.

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To know about holly

Holly ilex shrub Very well known for its very prickly leaves, the holly is both original and decorative.

Houx ilex arbuste

Bearing fruits of different colors depending on the species, it offers small berries in the fall that will remain on the shrub throughout the winter and will delight birds and blackbirds in particular.

It is this particularity that makes it a very decorative shrub during winter.

The red berries are borne by the female plants which need the presence of a male plant to be fertilized.

The berries of the holly are on the other hand toxic for the man.

The holly is a shrub, even a tree, of relatively slow growth.

Interesting varieties of holly

Branche houx feuille

Ilex aquifolium: This is the common holly, the most frequently encountered. There are various colors of leaves and berries, ranging from yellow to red to orange.

Ilex altaclerensis : It is a very resistant variety of holly, relatively not very thorny and of rather fast growth. Its leaves are edged with yellow.

Ilex crenata : It is a thornless holly. It offers black berries and is perfectly suited for evergreen hedges.

Ilex latifolia : Its berries are a deep red and its leaves are interesting for their large size and their shiny side.

Holly at Christmas

Its foliage is evergreen and this is what makes it an excellent decorative foliage for Christmas!

Its shiny and leathery leaves are very decorative and resist the twisting and handling necessary for decoration.

The holly is also a sign of good luck when it is hung on the door in a wreath during the holidays.

See also  How to Mix Compost into Soil?

This is how holly has become, over the years, a must for Christmas decorations.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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