Holly Hedging Plants

Written by mariah elaine
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Holly Hedging Plants
Holly plants make effective hedges. (holly tree image by david Hughes from Fotolia.com)

Hollies are a popular option for hedges, due to the compact growth habit of many varieties and their survivability in most climates. Additionally, many are evergreen, providing a screen or barrier in a landscape year-round. With a large range of sizes, there is a suitable holly plant for any size landscape. Though not popular for their flowers, many varieties produce red, black, yellow, black or white berries, bringing interest and wildlife to your property, while serving as a colourful, living fence.

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Fast-Growing Varieties

To create a living barrier or privacy screen for your landscape, quickly, a fast-growing holly hedge is an effective solution. The evergreen, Nellie Stevens Holly, is a fast grower with dense foliage, growing up to 3 feet per year with a mature height of 25 feet. This versatile tree thrives in most climates and soil types, including heavy clay. Disease and pest resistant, this hardy holly performs well as a hedge in areas where many plants falter, including street-side and car parks. With the bright green leaves and the emergence of showy red berries in the winter, this holly is both stunning and tough.

Narrow/Upright Varieties

To add a hedge to a narrow space, a holly with an upright growth habit is an effective option. The Sky Pencil Japanese Holly grows up to 10 feet tall and spreads no more than 2 to 3 feet wide, taking up very little room in small gardens. With its columnar shape, this evergreen holly is also suitable for formal gardens, requiring little maintenance to thrive and keep its slender, vertical growth habit.

Small Varieties

To create a hedge in a small garden without the worry of it overgrowing the location, choose a holly with a short mature height. The Dwarf Japanese Holly reaches a height and width of 6 to 10 feet. This evergreen, with white blooms in spring, suits a formal garden with full sun or part shade.

The Nana Dwarf Yaupon Holly is a dense, rounded plant which can be shaped into a formal hedge. This slow grower reaches a mature height and width of 7 to 10 feet, with small leaves. This hardy holly is drought and salt tolerant, making it an effective seaside hedge.

Large Varieties

If a large, living screen or barrier is needed for your landscape, large hollies can produce an effective hedge to do the job. The Lusterleaf Holly can reach a height of 40 feet and a width of 25 feet. This evergreen holly requires bright, but not full, sun to produce a dense, broadleaved hedge. The emergence of brick-red berries throughout the winter with contrasting dark-green leaves, makes this a striking holly hedge for a spacious landscape.

The American Holly grows up to 50 feet tall and up to 40 feet wide, making it suitable for large landscapes. An evergreen, this holly provides an attractive year-around hedge with berries that change colour each season from late summer until spring.

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