Before picking out a holly bush, you need to realize that there are more varieties of holly than the typical spiny bush that is tied to Christmas. In fact, there are 20 species native to the United States, 120 varieties of Oriental holly, as well as over two hundred that are considered English holly. Each variety ranges in size and shape. Some hollies have thorns, while others don't. Some bushes even differ in color, as holly comes in blue, green, and variegated foliage.
When selecting holly bushes, it is important that you purchase both 'female' and 'male' bushes. Female bushes are the holly bushes that produce berries, while the male bushes do not. Holly is a dioecious plant, meaning that it requires a male to be in the vicinity of females for the females to be able to produce berries. The closer a male is within a two-mile radius, the more abundant the berries will be.
When choosing holly, it is necessary that you consider what type of plant you desire when it reaches maturity. You will have to take in to consideration the desired height as well as how you want it to behave. Some hollies are easy to trim and shape than others. For those wishing to have a low growing plant that works great for filling in the landscape, the typical choice is a dwarf holly. Nana will produce a compact bush with small leaves. Shillings Dwarf is also commonly used for landscaping.
For those seeking larger holly, the Japanese holly offers some great choices. The Compacta is the most popular under this category, as it grows to heights of 6 feet. Compacta grows more successfully in cooler climates, therefore those interested in its characteristics that live in warmer climates should try China Girl and China Boy.