Grow the holly

Grow the holly

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How to grow holly: a guide for growing holly in pots or in the garden. Holly multiplication and information on treatments and pests.

L'Ilex aquifoliumis the only kind ofhollyendemic to Italy. We are talking about a very long-lived plant that also lives more than 200 years. It grows on average 15 cm per year, with the correct pruning, it can be grown as a small shrub but can grow to a height of 5 meters.

Warning! Many confuse the butcher's broom and holly. These are two different plants, both endemic to Italy, both protected, both produce red berries and have pungent leaves ... due to these similarities, many people confuse thehollywith the butcher's broom. To clarify the differences, we invite you to read the article dedicated to the butcher's broom.

Holly, leaf color

In nature, the color of the leaves ofholliesthat grow wild is a deeper green thanholliesgrown indoors or in the garden. This difference is due to the hardness of the water: in nature hollies receive acidic rainwater. In the garden of the house theholliesthey are irrigated with tap water, which tends to be calcareous and tends to increase the pH of the soil.

Evergreen or deciduous holly?

Another little curiosity about the leaves of this plant. L'hollyis often described as aevergreen. In reality there is a change of leaves, if the plant is placed in a very bright place, the replacement will be slow and will not be noticed (the plant will never be bare).

If the holly is grown in a place with partial shade or where it has to compete with other plants for light, it will tend to lose its leaves showing a more evident and less sudden change.

Cultivating Holly

It requires a well-drained soil, sun and… it doesn't have big pretensions. Due to its delicate root system, thehollydoes not like transplants. For information on its cultivation and on the care to be dedicated to the plant, we refer you to the next paragraph.

Cultivate the holly in pots

For thecultivationin pot, thehollywants well-drained, humus-rich, loose soil.

Remember, at the time of eachrepotting, you need to add peat and sand to the soil. Organize yourself with a very large container because this plant does not like repotting.

Holly irrigation

Between one irrigation and the next, wait for the soil to dry completely. Perform abundant and regular wetting. Better not to irrigate a little and often but a lot and to reduce the irrigations.

Prefer rain water or fresh water, not calcareous, otherwise the color of the leaves will be less intense.


Arrange the pots or plant the plant in a place in full sun. Holly also tolerates partial shade. Choose well the area of ​​the garden in which to plant because this plant does not like to be transplanted.

Multiplication of the holly

You can multiply the holly by seed (with very long times) or by semi-woody cutting. Other effective propagation methods are grafting and layering. The semi-woody cutting is obtained by taking parts of branches with leaves by making a transverse cut. The best time to multiply the holly falls between June and September. The cutting must be rooted in a shady place.

Multiplication of holly by cutting

To cut the semi-woody twig of your holly, use sterile, well-sharpened scissors. Take a 20 - 30 cm long branch. The transverse cut must not have any burrs. Choose a healthy mother plant and a vigorous branch. From the branch you will have to remove most of the leaves, leaving only 3 or 4 in the apical part.

To increase the chances of your taking root holly cutting, use rooting powder. These powders stimulate the emission of new roots.

Dip the base of the cutting in water and then pass it in a rooting powder. Bury the cutting halfway in a peat mixture to keep moist. Place the cutting in a shady place and continue with the planting only after the plant has shown signs of vegetative growth.
to facilitate rooting, impregnate the base of thepomegranate cuttingwith a stimulating product for cuttings woody and semi-woody like the rooting powder regeneral, proposed on Amazon with free shipping at a price of about € 12.40 with free shipping costs.

Holly care in pots or in the ground

Cochineal is a problem felt above all forcultivation of holly in pots. Before using white oil, pyrethrum or other products, try to perform a manual fight using simple cotton wool soaked in alcohol.

For theholly plant in pot, enrich the soil with slow-release fertilizers.

Video: A Focus On Holly: All You Need To Know (October 2022).