Holly hedge plants (Ilex aquifolium) description
Ilex Aquifolium, commonly known as English Holly hedge plants have an abundance of showy red berries that adorn the glossy green foliage in the autumn/winter, following the small spring flowers. Although Ilex aquifolium needs to be pollinated for berries to occur, this normally happens naturally in a hedging situation. Holly hedging is of great interest to wildlife, offering berries for birds to feed on and dense, evergreen foliage for a year-round shelter. Mistle thrushes in particular jealously guard the berries of any Holly tree that they make home, and are vocal protestors should another bird come near! Interestingly, Ilex aquifolium is also a source of food to many invertebrates including the caterpillars of beautiful butterflies such as the Holly Blue.
It is important to note that we also stock Ilex aquifolium 'Alaska' which is another variety of Holly hedging, similar to Ilex aquifolium, but with a few added benefits. Ilex aquifolium 'Alaska' is hardier and bushier in habit with softer, brighter leaves and stems. Ilex aquifolium 'Alaska' hedges produce more berries and overall is a superior variety of Holly in all aspects except that it isn't native. If you specifically require the native holly variety, please let us know. Ilex aquifolium (English Holly) can be recognised for its purple stems and darker green, more prickly leaves.
Common uses of English Holly
Holly makes a striking feature in any garden and forms a good windbreak, intruder deterrent and privacy screen. It also makes the perfect shelter for wildlife providing protection from predators and from the elements, encouraging more native species to your garden. Due to the hardy nature of Holly hedge plants, including tolerance of pollution, they can be used for both coastal and city planting. As Ilex aquifolium is a native species, it also works wonderfully when planted to create an English cottage garden theme or for informal planting, as Holly hedge plants are a fantastic low maintenance choice.
Combine Holly hedging with
Ilex aquifolium can be grown as a standalone shrub or specimen tree, providing a vibrant colourful addition to your garden. It can also be mixed with other native hedging species to create a diverse hedge, adding an important evergreen element to the native mix.
Growth rate of Ilex aquifolium
Holly hedges plants have a slow growth rate of approximately 10-15cm each year. They will create a thick, decorative display reaching a height of up to 4m.
Care advice for Holly hedges
Ilex aquifolium only requires a light pruning once or twice a year, depending on the desired appearance. It is best to shape your Holly hedging when young in the springtime, and once matured, your English Holly can be pruned at any time. We recommended lightly trimming in either late winter or early spring. Please view our Hedging Care Advice page for further information.
Suggested planting density for Holly hedge plants
For information on the specific planting density of English Holly, please see the product table. In the ‘No. Per Metre’ column, you will find our recommended plant density for each individual plant species and root type. You can find out more about hedge planting density here.
Holly hedge plants are available to buy year-round as pot grown and cell grown plants. Root balls are available for pre-order from late summer and delivered from early autumn. Bare rooted Ilex aquifolium is delivered between November-late April/early May and can be pre-ordered from mid-summer.
Nearly all of our Holly hedge plants are UK grown by experts with years of nursery growing experience. When we do find it necessary to source Holly hedging from outside the UK, we make every effort to ensure our suppliers are unbeaten on quality. At best4hedging, we endeavour to make certain that your Holly hedge plants arrive in the freshest condition and are of the highest quality, whilst sustaining our great prices. Rest assured, you can buy Ilex aquifolium online with total confidence in the service and products that you will receive.