Holly bushes, also known as Ilex, are ornamental shrubs commonly used as hedges. Due to the sharp spiny leaves, it is hard to penetrate these shrubs. These are both deciduous and evergreen depending on the type. These also do very well to pruning and shaping. Most can tolerate partial sun to full sun. These are winter hardy in a variety of growing zones depending on the plant. But we offer holly shrubs that are hardy from growing zones 3 all the way to zone 9.
The berries are toxic to humans, but many birds enjoy the berries in the winter when it is most difficult to find food. Some holly shrubs require both a male and a female plant to produce berries. But some do not require both.
There are 3 main species of ornamental hollies:
Blue Holly - Ilex meserveae - these have the typical holly shaped leaves and are evergreen shrubs. Most often, these shrubs require a male and a female plant to produce berries on the female plants. These are also native to North America.
Winterberry Holly - Ilex verticillata - these produce a lot of berries in the winter. The leaves do fall off in the winter, leaving a show of just the berries in the winter against the background of snow.
Japanese Holly - Ilex crenata - Evergreen shrubs native to eastern China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Sakhalin. Typically grown for its dense evergreen foliage and is very popular for bonsai enthusiasts.
- 3 main types; Winterberry, Blue, Japanese
- Deciduous and evergreen
- Great for hedges
- Do well to pruning and shaping
- Hardy from growing zones 3 - 9