Ilex, or Holly, is a genus of about 480 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. The species are evergreen or deciduous trees and shrubs. We offer many varieties of Holly plants because they are a great four season bush for most landscaping plans. Many (though not all) species of holly have distinctive glossy green leaves that feature either spiny teeth or serrated edges. Almost all holly species are dioecious, meaning that you will need to plant both male and female for cross pollination if you desire fruit. Holly plants are deer resistant, attract birds, and the winter berries add color to a snowy area.
The Best Way to Use Holly Bushes
The holly family (Ilex spp.) includes a diverse group of shrubs and trees. You’ll find plants that grow only 18 inches tall as well as trees growing 60 feet tall-- so make sure you choose a plant that fits the needs of your garden plan. Winter hardy in USDA zones 6-9, Holly shrubs like well-drained, moderately acidic soil. Preferring full sun, this plant can grow in some shade as well. Holly trees have a slow to medium growth rate. Depending on the variety you choose, Hollys can be used as a privacy screen, focal point, hedge, container plant, or foundation plant. The berries of a Holly bush can be toxic if ingested.
3 main types; Winterberry, Blue, Japanese
Use as a focal, hedge or container plant
Deciduous and evergreen
Great for hedges & borders
Do well to pruning and shaping
Provide winter interest
Foliage is green with red berries
Can grow 18 inches to 30 feet tall
Growing zones 3 to 9
Holly Companion Plants
Holly plants are famous for their winter berries, so pairing this shrub with plants that flower at other times of the year will offer a continuous display of colorful foliage and blossoms. Holly trees prefer slightly acidic soil, we suggest these acid-loving plants as well. Because Holly trees can grow very tall, many gardeners plant annuals like geraniums, torenia, & begonia under their Holly. Here are some of our favorites to plant with hollies.