Fertilizing Blue Holly

Keep your Blue Holly looking its best by following this guide’s simple fertilizing rules. A healthy Blue Holly will establish its roots in around three months. With proper care, Blue Holly has a moderate growth rate of 1-2 feet per year, reaching a mature size of about 10-15 feet tall and wide. The mature size and growth rate depend on the specific cultivar. There are many cultivars of Blue Holly including ‘Blue Prince’ and ‘Blue Princess’. Fertilizing can help boost growth and help your plant to thrive. Fertilizing male and female Blue Holly plants can be slightly different, so keep reading!


How To Fertilize Blue Holly

Blue Holly requires slightly acidic, well-draining soil. The soil pH should stay between 5.0 and 6.0. Take into account that compost and livestock manure may modify the soil pH. You can choose from several different fertilizers; slow-release fertilizer, compost or fully decomposed livestock manure. If you select a slow-release, granular fertilizer, make sure that it contains 8-10% nitrogen, for example a 10-20-20 blend (nitrogen is represented by the first number in the group). Nitrogen-rich fertilizer is beneficial for beautiful, glossy foliage but can hinder berry development. 

Water surrounding soil prior to the application of fertilizer or compost to help avoid fertilizer burn. Apply fertilizer at the “drip line”, or the ring around the shrub where water would run off of the foliage. To apply the fertilizer to your Blue Holly, gently work it into the soil below the mulch layer. Keep fertilizer off of the trunk to further avoid fertilizer burn. Next, replace the mulch and water in the fertilizer, soaking the soil thoroughly. 


Best Time To Fertilize Blue Holly

Fertilize Blue Holly twice per year – once in the spring before new growth starts and once in the fall. Wait until growth stops to fertilize your Blue Holly in the fall.

Best Fertilizer For Blue Holly

The best fertilizer for Blue Holly is a slow-release, granular fertilizer for acid-loving shrubs. Try, for example, Espoma Organic Holly-tone made in the USA. Espoma’s Holly-tone is people, pet and environmentally safe, containing no toxic ingredients. This fertilizer is approved for organic gardening and has received Organic Input Material (OIM) certification. The package suggests 3 cups per inch of trunk diameter for trees and 1 cup per inch of branch for shrubs. 

Blue Holly Fertilizing Tips

  • Apply fertilizer in the early spring and late fall
  • Apply fertilizer around the drip line
  • Keep soil moist


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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 Author Aimée Minard - Published 2-06-2023