|Dahoon Holly, Ilex cassine|
While the most important benefit of these plants is enjoying them outdoors in their natural state, they can also be used as cut greens in holiday decorations (the evergreen varieties). Keep in mind that hollies are dioecious plants: the male and female flowers are on separate plants and female plants produce berries. If you are looking for berries for holiday décor you will want to make sure you have some female plants. Also, many of the dwarf varieties do not produce berries.
If you don’t already have hollies in your landscape you may consider planting them now for next year. Hollies prefer part shade but most will tolerate full sun, they prefer acidic soils, and they all require a well-drained soil. Here are a few suggested native hollies:
|Fruit and foliage of Ilex vomitoria|
|Ilex vomitoria ’Dodds Cranberry’|
These hollies, and others, would make great additions to the landscape-and great gifts for those on your holiday shopping list too. You will enjoy them and the wildlife will thank you. Happy holly-days everyone!