American Holly - 'Ilex opaca'The American Holly is a beautiful native evergreen to the United States. The American Holly has a slow to medium growing nature and is native from Massachusetts to Texas and across the southeastern United States. It is a broadleaf evergreen known for its hardiness in low temperatures and resilient growing nature. The American Holly produces beautiful red berries when planted within range of a male pollinator. It has a sweet smell when in bloom and is attractive to butterflies and bees. The American Holly has lustrous, dark green leaves, and with more than 1000 cultivars and counting, it makes an excellent home landscaping plant. It should be noted that in order to produce berries a male polinator is needed.
||Leaves alternate and are simple, evergreen, elliptic, and 1.5-3.5" long and half as wide. With lare remote spiny teeth, leaves are dull to dark yellow green and have great variation among trees.|
||40 to 50' in height with a spread of 18 to 40'; usually smaller, 15 to 30' in height is more reasonable under normal landscape conditions, takes a long time to get where it is going.|
||Zone 5 to 9. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.|
||Densely pyramidal in youth with branches to the ground, becoming in age open, irregular, and picturesque, high branching, the branches at a wide angle and contorted.|
||Staminate in 3 to 9 flowered cymes; pistillate solitary, dull white; about the latest evergreen holly to flower around May. Berry-like, dull red rounded drupe, fruit is borne singly on .25" long stalks, maturing in October and persisting into winter. Furit display can be spectacular on good selections with a strong pollinator.|
|Diseases & Insects:
||This species is affected by many problems including holly leaf miner, bud moth, scales, beetles, whitefly, berry midge, southern red mite, tar spot, leaf spots, cankers, bacterial blight, twig die back, spot anthracnose, leaf rot, leaf drop, powdery mildews, spine spot (nonparasitic) and leaf scorch (physiological); leaf miner and scale are particularly troublesome.|
||Specimen plant, grouping; requires male and female for fruit set; i feel there are too many superior hollies to justify extensive use of this species but the list of cultivars is endless; on the east coast and south this is a favored plant; again, do not use seedlings; use one of many superior cultivars.|
||Enjoys good, moist, loose, acidic, well-drained soil. Does not tolerate poor drainage under cultivation. It is pollution tolerant.|
||Prune as needed and be sure to plant a male polinator within proximity for berries in the late fall and early winter.|
||Use a slow-release, granular fertilizer labled especially for acidic soil-loving plantes. Apply only one application of fertilizer a year. American Holly especially benefit from a yearly mulch of used coffee grounds.
|| Dig a hole three times the diameter of the root system, with a depth no deeper than the original soil line on trunk. Break up the soil to the finest consistency possible. Place plant in hole and fill, compacting the fill dirt. Water the plant heavily to seal soil around the roots and remove air pockets.