Seven Things About Holly You Might Not Have Known


Image of holly berries with the text Seven Things about holly you might not have known

  1. Holly is a very forgiving plant.

    As a native to the British Isles, Holly is very hardy. It withstands poor soils, is drought tolerant and can withstand temperatures as low as 20°. This hardy profile makes it perfect for gardens. Once established, it needs very little care to look beautiful year-round.

  2. Birds & bees love Holly.

    The mistle thrush is particularly fond of holly berries. This plucky little bird vigorously defends the bushes to prevent other birds from eating its berries. As well as hungry winter birds, holly is a wonderful source of food for bees when in flower.

  3. Holly frequently features in religion and folklore.

    It’s been associated with Christianity since medieval times. Druids would wear holly in their hair as protection against evil spirits, and more recently Harry Potter’s wand is made with holly.

  4. Holly makes an excellent hedge.

    Robust, evergreen and with beautiful berries it needs little care. The prickly leaves are an excellent deterrent to intruders, so consider planting a holly bush beneath easily accessible windows.

  5. Hollies have both male and female plants.

    Only female plants bear berries, but need to be pollinated by a male plant in flower at the same time. If you want berries on your holly, be careful to select a female plant. You will need a male holly plant in reasonable proximity; if you’re planting in an area with few holly bushes, then consider planting a male plant at the same time. It’s possible to buy holly plants with both male and female plants grafted onto the same rootstock- ask your local nursery for advice.

  6. Prune hollies early in the year.

    Hollies respond best to pruning in early spring or late winter, before new growth begins. Collect your Christmas holly in the knowledge you’re saving yourself a job later in the year. As trimming holly bushes is such a prickly job, why not call in the professionals? Give us a call at Brackendale, we’d be delighted to trim your holly hedge, bushes or trees into shape.

  7. Not all hollies are evergreen.

    English holly (Ilex aquifolium) is the holly we associate the most with Christmas with its shiny, prickly leaves and bright red berries. But there are hundreds of varieties of holly, including the deciduous holly which loses its leaves to display beautiful berry-laden branches. Commonly called “Winterberry”, its Latin name is Ilex verticillate. If you’re unsure which holly would suit your garden best, then give us a call. The team at Brackendale Tree Care can help you choose the best holly for your garden and then professionally plant your plants of choice for you.