Friday, February 11, 2011

Try This at Home!

Ilex crenata 'Helleri':

This is one of the most versatile hollies, probably because of its diminutive size.  Helleri holly stays quite small, and grows slowly, so it can be used in several ways in the garden.  It can be used successfully as a foundation plant, as an accent plant, or even as a low hedge.

Mine have been in my garden for several years.  They are still under 2 ft. tall, and I have never pruned them.  The one shown above is squeezed into a small area between the fence and a gate (about 2 ft.).  As you can see, they stay quite rounded even without shaping.  However, if you like the look of a ball, Helleri holly is easily sheared to this shape.

If your garden is small, or have a small spot in your garden to fill, these are excellent evergreen plants that won't take up too much room.  They don't have berries in the winter, but they are adorable just the same.  I love that the leaves are so tiny.  A great foliage contrast to so many other plants.

Helleri holly grows in zones 5 to 8, and are not fussy at all.  Give them full sun.  Since they grow so slowly and stay in their rounded form naturally, they are a must for the lazy gardener!


  1. Your mini holly looks non-prickly too which is good. I managed to cut a holly into a topiary (three ball shape) to my delight. Don't think i've put a pic of it on my blog yet so maybe soon. Kelli

  2. What a cutie! I bet it would make a super container plant for a formal patio, too. I'll have to keep an eye out for them at my local nursery.

  3. Why I garden - you're right, it is not prickly at all. I've tried topiary, but unfortunately it was with a fast-growing plant, and I didn't keep it up. I look forward to seeing your topiary.

    Shannon- You have a great idea. Funny, I've seen this holly so much in my garden, I never thought about it in a container, but that would be a perfect place for it!


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