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Tree and Shrub Care: Holly Bushes

holly_bush.jpgHolly bushes in your yard add great green color in the winter - not to mention a nice back drop for flowers in the spring , summer, and fall. 

For this week's tree and shrub care blog, let's discuss the best way to plant and care for one of the most celebrated yard shrubs!...


The best time to plant holly bushes is in the spring or fall.  Lower temperatures along with higher rainfall will help your shrubs settle in better to their new location.  The best place to plant is in a well-drained, but not too dry, location - in slightly acidic soil ( less than 7ph) and in full sun.   However, most hollies can be very tolerant of adverse conditions.

>> Good to Know!<<

If you like the bright red holly berries, you must keep in mind that hollies come either male or female.  Only the female produce the bright red berries. You will also need to make sure a male holly is planted near by or the females will not produce those beautiful red berries!


Caring for your Holly Bush

The initial care of hollies after they are planted is like other trees and shrubs - you will want to water daily for the first week, twice a week for a month -  and after that (if planting in the spring), once a week for the remainder of the summer.

Caring for established hollies is easy...

  • Fertilize once a year with a balanced fertilizer.
  • If drought conditions occur, you can water about two inches per week. 
  • It also helps to mulch around the base to help retain moisture in summer and even out the soil temperature in the winter to prevent root damage.
  • Regular pruning of hollies is required to maintain their compact shape and keeps them from becoming "scraggly" looking.
  • If you find your hollies are being damaged in the winter from snow or cold wind then you can wrap them in burlap to protect them from the weather.

Like this? Don't forget to also read all about Juniper bushes!

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