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Ilex meserveae Heckenstar

ILEX meserveae Heckenstar

ILEX meserveae Heckenstar, also known as Blue Holly, is an evergreen holly shrub.

The plant has prickly foliage which has a blue-green hue, and the leaves are 5cm in length and have decorative spines. The bark of the plant has a contrasting purple-brown color.

The plant has a naturally bushy, vigorous, spreading habit. In 10 years, the plant will be about 2m tall if it is not clipped. The plant reaches a mature height of 4 to 5 meters and a width of 1.5m. Since this plant can be clipped tightly, you can keep it to whatever shape you want.

Growing ILEX meserveae Heckenstar

ILEX meserveae Heckenstar is the male form of ILEX meserveae Heckenstars, which is a hybrid of Holly. It is an excellent pollinator for the female forms, which produce berries. Aside from being a pollinator for female hollies, ILEX meserveae Heckenstar can also be planted to create a hedge, but there will be no berries.

Why you should grow ILEX meserveae Heckenstar

These privacy shrubs present a few features and benefits that make it a good plant for here. Here are few reasons why you should grow the plant:

  • The plants grow faster than the ILEX meserveae Heckenstars (the female variety)
  • They have large, attractive leaves that provide the right amount of privacy and screening you need for your garden
  • They are low-maintenance if you plant them in slightly acidic soils and provide them with enough water during the first growing year to help establish the root system
  • They are beautiful and have trouble-free dense foliage with no defoliated twigs even when they are not pruned
  • The plants have dense foliage, which is ideal for creating a thick hedge for privacy and screening
  • They can also withstand very low temperatures without being affected. The plant can tolerate -34°C
  • Creates an evergreen, hardy hedge that keeps intruders at bay because of its spiny leaves
  • They can also be grown in mixed borders with the deep blue, green foliage providing an excellent backdrop for flowering plants

Where to grow

ILEX meserveae Heckenstar grows well in average, moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in either full sun or partial shade. They are ideal hedging plants to grow in a coastal location

In hot summer climates, the plant will appreciate part afternoon shade.

How to plant

When ILEX meserveae Heckenstar is planted well, and under optimal conditions, it can live for many years, providing robust, long-term privacy and screening. Follow these steps to plant correctly:

  1. Choose a planting area with the right growing conditions. Remove grass and any weed in the area
  2. Dig a trench twice the width and the same height as the clod. Make sure that the sides of the trench are straight
  3. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the trench and mix it with some compost
  4. Position the clod in the trench with the top of the clod about the same level as the surrounding soil
  5. Backfill the trench with a mixture of compost and soil removed from the trench, firming the soil around the plant’s root system as you go
  6. Water the plant deeply until it fully establishes


Loosen the soil before planting to allow the roots to establish easily and quickly. Drought stress is one of the leading causes of death in ILEX meserveae Heckenstar plants. So, you will want to make sure that you keep these plants well-watered. Don’t plant Heckenstar too deep in the trench as this can result in root rot and stem rot.


Proper spacing is important in ensuring that you attain a thick hedge within a considerable period. Planting too far means the plants will take a long time to form a hedge, whereas planting too close will cause overcrowding, making it hard for you to prune

The recommended planting density for ILEX meserveae Heckenstar is 2 to 3 plants per meter

Care & Advice

  • Watering
    Water the garden hedge plants deeply until it fully establishes. Once it is fully established, it can go for weeks without watering except in extreme windy or hot weather. Allow the topsoil to dry a few centimeters before watering. Most winter injuries result from drying out and not cold temperature. You need to be prepared to irrigate during windy, sunny and dry spells. You will also want to apply a thin layer of mulch to reduce lose of water through evaporation.
  • Pruning
    Prune ILEX meserveae Heckenstar for pedestrian safety and size control, to remove diseased or dead branches, or to train or shape the plants into hedges. Prune in later spring or winter depending on when the shrubs flower.
  • Fertilization
    These plants will also benefit from feeding. Apply fertilizer in the plant’s early growing cycle. Since this is not a flowering plant, feed with a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen


Some of the most common insect problems affecting ILEX meserveae Heckenstar include spider mites, leaf miner, and whitefly. Potential disease problem includes powdery mildew, tar spot, and leaf spot. The privet hedge plants may also be susceptible to chlorosis, leaf scorch, and leaf drop. Make sure that you find the right remedies for these conditions before it gets worse. Otherwise, you may be forced to uproot the plants.


  • Fast-growing
  • Low-maintenance
  • Hardy
  • Can be grown in mixed borders
  • Fresh plants from the ground
  • Advice

Should I buy ILEX meserveae Heckenstar plants for hedging?

As we’ve discussed in this post, ILEX meserveae Heckenstar has excellent hedging properties. But since it is a male form of Holly, it does not bear fruits. But can be used in mixed borders.

The quick growing shrubs can withstand very cold temperatures, making them the ideal hedge plants for British cold winters. Aside from that, they are low-maintenance plants, requiring pruning only once a year. Another interesting thing about this shrub is that it grows faster than the female form (Heckenstarss). This gives it an edge over other slow growing hedge plants

So, YES, we would confidently recommend ILEX meserveae Heckenstar for hedging.

If you are looking for high quality and affordable ILEX meserveae Heckenstar plants, feel free to contact us via email or phone.