Ilex Aquifolium (common holly)
You have a spectacle in every season if you choose the evergreen shrub Ilex Aquifolium, or the ordinary holly. It never gets boring. The plant remains green all year round and blooms beautifully in May and June. White flowers will appear then. The most spectacular part of this plant comes appears September to March: the striking, red berries, which you know from the well-known Christmas berries. If you like Christmas, you will also love the Ilex Aquifolium.
Ilex Aquifolium (sharp holly)
This plant is also called the sharp holly. And that's not in vein. The leaves have a leathery, shiny (and dull on the underside), but spiky leaves. With this hedge plant your hedge will remain a bit classier. And unexpectedly, the common holly makes your garden nearly impenetrable. For uninvited guests, but also for unwanted dogs or cats. Do you have any pets that sometimes walk around the garden? They are not likely to crawl through the this hedge. A very nice extra.
You will find this plant in nature almost all over the world. Both in the tropics and in regions with a moderate temperature. Though, it is not very typical in the western part of North America and Australia.
Why choose a hedge from Ilex Aquifolium?
- The ordinary holly has a nice appearance.
- The plant is very strong.
- It stays green for 365 days.
- The plant blooms in May and June and then gets cute, white flowers, which also smell nice. These will attract bees and butterflies.
- Beautiful, red berries appear from September to March. These cannot be missed in the traditional Christmas pieces. And it provides something extra: the berries attract birds, so there is always something to do in your garden.
- Maintenance is quite easy.
- Both very high and very low hedges can be created with the regular holly.
When is the best time to plant the tart holly hedge?
It is best to plant the Ilex Aquifolium between September and May, but not when it is freezing outside.
How do you plant an Ilex Aquifolium?
- Remove the weeds where the hedge will be. It desperately needs all the moisture and nutrients itself.
- Dig a trench that is at least 35 cm wide and 50 cm deep. Stretch a rope between two sticks beforehand to ensure that you place the plants in a straight line.
- Sprinkle some potting compost into the trench for a good start for the hedge plants.
- Sprinkle a little bit of the excavated soil on the potting soil. The roots will like the loose, well-draining soil.
- Place the plants alongside the trench where you want to plant them.
- Are you satisfied with the distribution? Then place the Ilex Aquifolium inside the trench. Make sure to place the plants upright in the center of the trench.
- Fill the trench with soil and press firmly.
- Water the plants sufficiently. Keep watering until the plant starts to grow.
The hedge is not shy when it comes to the sun. Whether it is fully exposed to it, or whether it is in partial shade or even completely in the shade, it does not matter to the holly.
The Ilex Aquifolium likes its "feet" the be in moist soil. Water twice a week during dry, warm periods. Be careful you don’t give it too much, the roots can rot if the soil gets wet.
The plant likes nutritious, slightly acidic soil.
This ordinary holly can grow up to 3 meters high. Therefore, give the plants enough space to grow. Get around three to five plants per linear meter.
The plant does not grow very fast, about 15 to 20 cm per year. A big advantage is that you do not have to prune it often. However, you do need a lot of patience if you want a high, dense hedge.
Advice & Care
- Give the hedge enough water, but not too much. It does not like to be in soaking wet soil.
- Prune the Ilex Aquifolium once a year. If you want to keep it narrow, do it twice a year in April or September. Prune with pruning shears and in cloudy weather. Sunlight can burn the leaves.
- When pruning, put on gloves and protective clothing, because the spines stick out considerably.
- It is important to fertilize the holly hedge. In spring you have to use with special hedge fertilizer. This keeps your plants healthy and strong, it stimulates growth and prevents diseases and pests from taking hold of the plants.
Treating known conditions of the Ilex Aquifolium
The Ilex Aquifolium is known for its good health. It is therefore not susceptible to (fungal) diseases or pests. Fertilizing the plant annually in spring will also keep it healthy.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Ilex Aquifolium
- This plant will grow almost anywhere: in any type of soil, but also in almost any location: sun, shade, partial shade, wet or dry.
- It is evergreen.
- From September to March it has beautiful red berries.
- The flowers it gets in May and June will attract bees and butterflies. The red berries also attract birds. So there is plenty to see in your garden.
- Common holly tolerates pruning, even if rigorously.
- The hedge is resists burglars due to the thorny leaves.
- It takes a few years before your hedge is completely closed.
- The plant cannot tolerate extreme frost.
- The red berries and leaves are poisonous. Be careful with small children and pets.
- The sharp thorny leaves make planting and pruning difficult.
Do you like life in your garden? Then the Ilex Aquifolium with its evergreen leaves, the white flowers and the striking red berries is a perfect choice. In addition, bees and butterflies frolic around the flowers. And the berries, which will remind you of the Christmas season, attract a lot of birds. So there is always something to see. Really an asset to your garden: the ordinary holly.
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