Care Guide For Holly (Ilex)
We recommend the use of Empathy Rootgrow in preparation for planting trees and shrubs.It is a mycorrhizal fungi powder which is sprinkled into the planting hole to encourage strong growth and resistance to drought.
Watering: Holly requires water every three days in the spring and summer but if the soil feels sodden then leave the plant to dry out a bit before adding more water. Little and often is best for Holly.
Clipping: This is best done when the plant first starts to put on new growth, around May time. Just remove the new growth back into the original shape of the plant using small clippers or shears and each year the plant should increase in size. You may have to repeat this throughout the summer as new shoots often grow out of the plant’s apex.
Feeding: Holly needs a regular feeding program to keep the fullness of the head. With most topiary, we try to exclude as many flowers and fruits as possible, which gives all the energy to the leaves, but with holly everyone wants to see the berries. This means that the plant needs lots of extra support for its general well being and feeding every two weeks will help. We recommend you use Empathy Evergreen food for spring, summer and autumn and ‘Osmacote’ in the winter.
Treatment: Holly is particularly susceptible to vine weevil, aphids, scale insects and holly leaf miner and needs treating as soon as any of these pests are seen. Holly is also susceptible to Holly leaf blight which is a fungal infection often seen after a wet winter.
We recommend any chemical treatment you are able to buy from your local Garden Centre.