Master Gardener: Holly, the American Evergreen

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas this year too.

Holly has been used to celebrate Christmas for as long as I can remember.It can be used as a garland on your tree or hung on your front porch with colorful lights and other decorations. You can buy it in stores, but you can also grow it yourself. Start with seeds or cuttings, or simply purchase established plants.

Holly is dioecious. This means that male and female plants need to be within 200 yards of each other to produce the beautiful berries they are known for.

Only female plants bear fruit, but there are some rare cultivars in which neither male nor female plants bear fruit. Holly shrubs can be container grown indoors or outdoors as foundations, hedges, or planting specimens. Although hardy and tolerant of a wide variety of soils, holly prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soils. They prefer sun or partial shade, but shade plants may not produce the desired fruit.At least six hours of direct sunlight are required to produce berries.These shrubs are hot and humid. and may need protection from the cold winter winds. Strong in Zones 5A to 9B.

Holly berries are highly toxic to both humans and pets.

Most Holly Propagated by Cuttings

Most holly plants are propagated by cuttings. The cane ridge is known as the bud junction, the point from which new leaves emerge. Cut new growth sugar cane into 6-inch pieces. Then make her second cut 3/4 inch above her on another bud 6 inches away from the first cut.

Cut several pieces in the same way and tie them together. Soak the bottom in rooting hormone. Dig a 12-inch deep hole in a garden with plenty of sunlight. Place the bundled cuttings upside down in the hole. Cover with damp peat and fill the hole with a mixture of potting soil and sand. Mark the buds so that they will sprout in spring.

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