Part of the
You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening series.
By Ken Brown
Updated: June 4, 2008
Are you looking for a partial shade plant? Try out the Holly in your
partial sun or partial shade portion of your yard. The Holly adds interest to
your yard in many different ways. It is an evergreen plant and thus will show
green leaves throughout the year. This makes it interesting in winter as a
backdrop to snow covered lawns and landscapes. The female plant will produce
little red berries that show off a little color during the winter months and
makes for food for winter birds and small mammals.
Because it is only the female plant that produces berries, then you will need
to buy a female plant and a male plant. This will help pollinate the female
plant to produce the berries for winter. There are now cultivars that are
genetically altered to be both a boy and girl Holly in one. With these Holly
cultivars you only need the one plant to produce the berries. I have one in my
yard and it does produce berries on its own. I also have recently purchased a
male and female species of Holly for my yard.
Protect the Holly from Harsh Winter Winds
The Holly needs a little help in winter if you are planting the Holly in
Northern Illinois or farther north. It is recommended you provide some form of
protection from the winter winds. Maybe wrap them in burlap of if they are
planted on the eastern side of your home they are probably okay. Sometimes if
they are protected by a fence or a group of pines they will survive the winter.
I forgot to cover mine this last winter of 2007 / 2008 and they were severely
Even though Hollies are hardy and can give you years of enjoyment, the first 3
to 5 years resist pruning them. They will grow rather spindly, but it is best
to wait for a time before your first pruning. Once the plant has taken to
liking it's new home then it will take most of the abuse you can throw at it.
Plant your Hollies in moist well drained soils in partial sun, partial shade or
even almost full shade. In full shade they are not robust in their growth, but
they will grow and survive. The Holly blooms in late spring with white
flowers. They can grow to be very large, with heights exceeding 9 feet and
spreading from 4 feet to 9 feet wide.