Fertilizing Hollies

All plants need to be fertilized at some point in the growing season. Some require fertilizing in the spring while others recommend fertilizing monthly. In the case of hollies, they should be fertilized in the early spring and fall after a frost.


How Do You Know When to Fertilize Hollies  

There are clues if your holly needs to be fertilized. The holly may have a yellowish cast to the leaves indicating that there is either a lack of nitrogen in the soil or it is too alkaline. Of course the  holly may need watered too. When fertilizing it is best to water your plant 24 hours ahead of time to give it a good and thorough soaking before adding the fertilizer. This ensures that you won’t burn the roots.

Best Time To Fertilize Hollies

Depending on the slow release fertilizer, you can fertilize at the time of planting. Some granular formulations will recommend fertilizing in the spring and after a frost.


Best Fertilizer For Hollies  

There are different kinds of fertilizer for hollies. One is a water soluble fertilizer that gives it a quick shot of fertilizer but washes out quickly with rain. Think of it as an energy drink that is a temporary fix. Another is a slow release granular formulation that feeds the plant all season long. Applying fertilizer is easy enough by just following directions on the label. If you are using a water soluble type, water the plant all the way around the drip line, not just in one spot. Some granular fertilizers will have you apply it around the drip line of the plant and just lightly scratch it into the soil. Still others may have you just spread it around the top of the soil so read those directions carefully. A 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 (or even a 10-20-20) slow release fertilizer designed for shrubs and evergreens will work best. 


Fertilizing Holly Tips

  • Water your plant 24 hours ahead of time
  • Fertilize in the early spring & fall after a frost
  • Use a slow release granular formulation
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Author Chris Link - Published 10-19-2021