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Holly buying guide

Holly is a versatile, slow-growing, low-maintenance, evergreen shrub that's popular for growing in containers, borders and boundaries. Ilex aquifolium is the common holly we know and love for its bright red berries and evergreen leaves with spiky edges. But there's lots of holly varieties to choose from featuring different colour berries and foliage, with or without spikes!

Holly berries

Do you want holly berries? If you do, buy a female holly plant and ensure a male holly plant is nearby for pollination. Buy both to be sure, or choose a self-fertile variety like J.C. van Tol.

Holly hedges

Holly is a popular shrub for hedging, thanks to its dense and spiky foliage. It helps shield your garden from neighbouring sights and sounds, but also provides an ideal shelter for nesting birds and other wildlife. Multiple varieties can be used for hedging. Ilex Crenata 'Dark Green', often called box-leafed holly, makes a great pest-resistant alternative to classic box hedging. But it's difficult to beat ilex aquifolium, THE hedging holly for its value, ease to grow, low-maintenance and attractiveness.

Holly trees

Our standard holly trees are perfect for the garden, patio or balcony. Choose the standard 'Golden King' holly tree for white flowers in the spring, red berries in the winter and evergreen foliage edged with golden yellow. Or our standard 'Blue Maid' holly is an eye-catching evergreen with contrasting scarlet berries and purple-green foliage once established. Both make magnificent container plants for framing doorways.

For more guidance and inspiration, read our top ten evergreen shrubs article and browse our full selection of shrubs for sale.

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