growing and care

With most people, Holly is about growing an evergreen with berries to decorate homes and wreaths dueing Midwinter, Yule and Christmas. With others, its a service to provide a safe nesting place for small birds.

preferred soil conditions?

Is happiest in light sandy soils but will grow in any soils that are not waterlogged.

To multiply your stock of Holly trees, maybe to make a hedge, you can take cuttings in later summer and early autumn and raise them in pots, indoors preferably, for planting out next year

All clipping of Holly should be completed by mid October at the latest.

preferred light, shade and water conditions?

Is not too fussy about light content and can survive well under low light. After all, many of them live under big oaks and other umbrella trees.

In spring it is a good idea to mulch and manure the base of Holly trees for feeding and protection from both drying out and getting too waterlogged. Also it is important to keep the roots of young Holly trees as weed free as possible otherwise that will severely slow its growth.


Holly is an evergreen so we do not have to wait for new budding in spring.

Some folks ask why the Holly leaves have prickles. Well it seems like its natures way of providing a safe nesting place for small birds. They can mive in and out of Holly trees and bushes with ease, despite the prickles, but those prickles do upset bigger birds and small mammals that may try to steal next eggs.


Pretty clusters of cream to pink flowers blossom on holly trees during May and June, but this does not start happening until the tree is somewhere between 4 and 12 years old.


Holly can be coppiced ok, but frequency of coppicing depends how thick the new trunks and branches are desired Most people coppice Holly for narrow branches so harvesting for these is every 4 to 8 years for those, but some people coppice every 10, 15 or 20 years to get thicker wood.

fruit and seeds

The joy of the Holly is indeed the prized red berries. Folks ask me how to get lots of red berries. The secret is to buy lots of female plants from a local grower and just one or two male plants for pollinations. This mix should aid the chances of pollination, blossoming and berries forming.

The pollination from male to female trees generally has a maximum range of 100 ft, so keep this in mind when planting male plants in relation to female plants.

for the healing and nourishment qualities of Holly, please click here