Holly (Ilex aquifolium) Hedge Plant Description
Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is an ideal hedging plant for many reasons. It is slow growing, so needs little maintenance, its dense form and prickly leaves are a good intruder deterrent, its berries on pollinated plants provide food for native birds throughout the Winter and it can be trimmed into a superb formal decorative hedge which provides an excellent windbreak and is also pollution resistant. Being evergreen, Holly keeps its fantastic foliage year round providing you with year round interest and winter cover. Holly is also a very popular choice to include in a native mixed hedge (it is one of the few native evergreens) to provide some winter colour and protection for wildlife. Consider adding a number of our native plants to a mixed feature as this will create a hedge full of diverse colours, shapes and textures. You can also see our whole collection of prickly hedge plants which can be planted alongside Holly for an outstanding, intruder proof hedge
(Ilex aquifolium leaves are glossy dark green and berries can be either red or orange. It grows by approx 10-15 cm p.a. and should be trimmed in autumn (and mid summer too if you wish). It likes full or partial shade and moist (but not wet) soil and is suitable for exposed sites, seaside gardens. To prevent hungry birds eating all the berries (so that there are some left for Christmas decorations), tie netting over selected stems or cut a few stems in early/mid December and stand them in a bucket of water in a cool shed and they should stay fresh. Always make sure there's plenty of alternative bird food available before reserving Holly branches for the Christmas decorations please! See also our range of hedges with berries
Due to its many benefits, we stock Ilex aquifolium Alaska, which is hardier and bushier then the native cultivar, Ilex aquifoloum. Ilex Alaska boasts: a more dense growth habit, brighter, slightly softer green leaves and stems and it produces more berries. Overall, it is a much better Holly plant in all respects except for the fact that it isn't native. Ilex aquifolium has purple stems, darker, more prickly leaves and can in fact be quite gappy (not as dense). We have only shown Alaska rootballs but if you require the native variety (because of a planning requirement for example), then of course we can get it at very similar prices.
See our ultimate Holly hedging huide
for more information of this fantastic species.
Youll see our recommended planting densities for each size and root type listed in the product grid. We suggest that you use these as a guide, taking into consideration how long youre willing to wait to see your finished hedge. As a rough indication bare roots can be planted at anything from 3 to 7 per metre and cell grown between 4 and 6 - the higher densities here would need to be planted in a double staggered row or zig-zag.
For more information on planting distances please see our planting density advice section
It is best to prune Holly in early Summer to prevent new growth from being damaged by cold weather or frosts.
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