Tips for Planting Holly Bushes

By Joseph Boyle , last updated June 9, 2011

Planting Holly bushes is easy and rewarding, as Holly is a distinct, easily identifiable plant, with slightly spiked leaves and its signature beautiful bright red berries. The glossy, dark green leaves stay on the shrub year round. Their familiar look makes them a popular choice for landscape design. They are often used as a wonderfully textured backdrop for other, more showy plants. Holly has a history intertwined with human cultures dating back to ancient times, having been used in pagan rituals as well as a symbol of Christmas in the Christian religion. Today they are popularly used for mainly ornamental purposes. Though the berries are not edible for humans, they are often utilized as decorations. Holly is actually a genus that comprises over 400 different varieties. They have been known to grow to heights of anywhere from one foot to over seventy feet tall.

If you would like to plant holly shrubs in your yard or garden, the best time for planting is in spring or autumn. This is because during these times temperatures are usually fairly mild making the transition much easier for the plant. In choosing a location to plant your holly bush, make sure you find an area that will receive full sunlight, that is at least 6 hours per day. The ideal soil type will be well-draining and slightly acidic. If you are cultivating holly for its berries, you should be aware that there are both male and female varieties of the holly shrub and that only the female plants produce berries. What this means for planting is that you will need to plant one male and one female fairly close to each other so that the female will produce berries. Holly does well when fertilized once a year. It does not need a ton of water, two inches per week during drought conditions and even less during normal conditions.
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