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.
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.
These “damaged” plants will develop calluses on top of the damage that the roots will develop. Keep the soil moist while the plants are rooting. Spring shoots can be transplanted or left where they sprout, although thinning may be required. The best time to propagate holly shrubs from cuttings depends on the variety you are taking. Coniferous cuttings are usually taken from summer to late fall, but most cuttings for holly propagation are from broadleaf cuttings taken when the plant is dormant or during the cold season.
Cuttings are considered the easiest way to propagate holly shrubs, but it is also possible to propagate holly from seed. Each holly fruit contains about four seeds. Growing holly from seed can be difficult as the seeds are slow to germinate, taking 16 months to 3 years. Additionally, it can take another three years for the holly shrub to flower.
A special coating that protects holly seeds from harsh winters
A special coating protects the holly seeds to survive harsh winters. However, this pulpy substance makes reproduction more difficult. Nevertheless, growing holly shrubs from seed propagation can be done with patience. Rinse the seeds in cold water and plant them in a soilless potting medium in a large flat. Cover the flat and place it in a sheltered area outdoors during the winter. If all goes well, the holly seeds should germinate by spring. Otherwise, they’ll have to survive another winter or two.
Holly can be left alone until it grows to 30 to 50 feet tall, but can be trained into privacy border hedges 10 to 15 feet tall. Each shrub grows 16 to 31 inches wide. Its oval, dark green, glossy, leathery, wavy, spiny foliage provides a fortress against intruders, while its white flowers in late spring and bright red berries in autumn and winter are attractive. It is a dense shrub and an important food source for small mammals and animals. bird. Bluebirds and mocking birds are especially fond of berries. The leaves are lighter at the bottom. They are 1 to 3½ inches long and alternate.
Deb Camp is a Master Gardener with the Sandusky-Ottawa County Extension Office.