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Ilex or Holly

Holly plants are versatile and diverse shrubs that can be used for a variety of gardening needs. These dense evergreen planters come in a selection of different colours, making them ideal if you want to inject a touch of colour into your landscape. However, holly, or ilex as it is also known, is not just used for its iconic prickly aesthetic - it also makes for great screen hedging. Creating a living barrier and providing privacy for your home and garden, the thick and dense foliage of a holly hedge offers constant cover and shelter throughout the year. 

Holly hedging is also an ideal option if you are keen on attracting wildlife to your garden. Their flowers draw bees and butterflies to your outdoor space, while a host of birds and small garden animals will appear in autumn when berries begin popping up. The dense nature of holly hedging makes it a perfect nesting site for birds during winter, offering shelter and protection with its prickly leaves acting as a deterrent for potential predators.  

Where to Site Your Holly

Holly are beautiful  specimen shrubs and should be situated at the back of the border and makes a lovely English Hedge.

How to Grow and Look After you Holly

Generally, holly will grow in most different soil types, but it does tend to struggle in overly moist, waterlogged areas. When planting new holly hedges, we recommend using a combination of soil and compost to provide the plant with as many nutrients as possible during its early life. While it’s true that holly doesn’t like soil that is too moist, it is important to water regularly, particularly during the warmer summer months. It’s also worth noting that holly hedging develops best in full view of the sun or partially shaded areas.

You’ll have to be patient if you want to grow a tall holly from scratch. Holly plants are a slow growing option, typically increasing in height by only six to nine inches each year.

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