American holly is an elegant evergreen tree that's ideal for home landscapes. Its dense branching, pyramidal habit and smooth gray bark are only a few of the appealing attributes of this broadleaf evergreen. Wild specimens grow in forests across the eastern half of the United States, from Maine to Texas, and are particularly common from the Appalachian Piedmont to the Atlantic coastal plain.
The spiny, oval leaves of American holly are stiff and dull, dark green. Cultivars tend to have slightly glossy foliage. Sharp, yellowish spines that are painful to the touch arm the undulating leaf edges. Each leaf will persist on a tree for up to three years before falling. Small, white or greenish flowers appear in late spring or early summer on the current year's growth. The trees are dioecious, which means each specimen has either male or female flowers, never both. Only female trees yield red or orange-red berries in the fall, but male trees are needed for pollination and fruit-set. The colorful berries last well into the winter. Birds will eat the fruit over the course of the season.
Landscape specimens perform best if provided plenty of sunshine and fertile soil with an acid to neutral pH. Established trees are tolerant of drought and will withstand the wind, saltspray and sandy soil near the ocean. Drying summer or winter winds, however, cause leaf desiccation. American holly also grows best in moist, average to well-drained soils rich in organic matter. Fast-draining sandy soils may be wet without causing these trees to succumb to root rot and fungal diseases.
Information source: www.learn2grow.com.
Genus - Ilex
Species - Opaca
Common name - American Holly
Pre-Treatment - Required
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Hardiness zones - 5 - 9
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Height - 25'-50' / 7.60 - 15(40) m
Spread - 15'-40' / 4.60 - 12(25) m
Growth rate - Slow
Bloom season - Late Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green, Dark Green / White
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water, drought tolerant
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Foundation, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees
1. Soak seeds in hot water for 24 hours.
2. Mix with moist sterile sand or vermiculite (1 part of seeds and 3 parts of vermiculite), put in airtight bag or container and place in a fridge at +2-+4C (36-40F) for 60 days. This process is called cold stratification.
3. Check on them weekly to make sure they are still moist.
4. After stratification sow seeds 10 mm (3/8") deep directly outdoors or individually in pots inside.
The seeds can be planted at any time so you do not have to worry about timing the seed preparation process to plant seeds at a specific time.
Check the seeds often to make sure that they are moist. Seedlings will sprout when they are ready, which can take two to three seasons.
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