Prune a holly bush down one third each year, and remove dead branches from the middle and inside of the plant. Keep holly bushes from being lanky with advice on pruning from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.
Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about, "How to prune a holly bush"? Now hollies are are such a beautiful bush to have in your yard and they make red berries every Christmas time that you can cut some of the stems and put them around the house or add to swag and they just add to the festivities of Christmas. They're so rewarding. But it's good to prune them every year just so that they grow in a little more evenly. So hollies will kind of just grow like a bush and kind of get a little bit wild. And so they'll kind of make a medusa-like area and they'll just grow like a medusa and just kind of take over. So when you're pruning them, these are very small plants, they don't need prune a whole lot and my trick with pruning them is not to prune more than one third of the bush down each year. So if you have a totally out of control bush, just prune it down one third the first year and then one third the second year then one third the third year. And eventually you can get it to little more tamed. And so they'll grow like more of a medusa, but the trick with holly too is if you just prune them down on the tips then instead of being lanky, they'll fill in a little more. So what I'm doing with these guys is just trimming off the very tip and so what happens is it will quit growing out and it'll start using its energy and be a little more full. And so you don't want to prune it too much; these are small plants. But you still want to prune them at least once a year just to get some of their growth contained. In that way, then they'll fill in much better. And it's always good to prune some of the dead branches out of the middle; if you have dead branches inside and any branches that aren't growing real evenly too and even off the sides too, it's good to trim them a bit. So again, I'm taking over on this one, but I found by just trimming it back just a little bit, I'm going to have a fuller plant in the end. And a lot of times just by trimming the very ends of it, it'll just fill in a little more. And next year you'll have a bush that'll be much more full and it won't be just going off in all directions. And they take quite a few years to get growing. I've noticed hollies take ten to twenty years to become big enough to even produce berries. So be patient with them and trim them back every year not more than one third and you will find that your holly bushes will be just beautiful for Christmas.