The Holly – Part II

Deck The Halls! by Caro Wallis

This is the second post in a two-post series on Hollies.  You can read the first post here.

Holly requires a moist but well drained moderately fertile, humus rich and slightly acid soil. They will grow in sun or part shade but for best berry production, most compact growth and for the best leaf color in the variegated hollies, holly want a sunny spot. Most hollies are either male or female. So when buying, check to see if you need both to set fruit.  See here. You can try starting holly from seeds but germination may take 2 or 3 years.

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The Holly – Part I

Holly and snow by Tambako the Jaguar

This is the season when holly (ilex) is almost king. Who doesn’t love to see the shiny, dark leaves with the red (and black) and sometimes white, orange or yellow berried shrubs and trees? It is probably the most colorful plant in the late fall and winter season. That is the reason people love to decorate their homes with branches from these colorful plants.

But holly is especially wonderful growing  in the garden. Perhaps when you list what you wish for this holiday season, you can ask for a holly to be planted in your garden in the spring- the best time to plant or transplant your holly.

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Christmas Themed Plants


TheGardenLady received this question from Sally:

Are there any other Christmas themed plants other than the mistletoe?

There are numerous Christmas themed plants and there is a long and interesting history of the reasons for the use of these plants during the holiday season. Many of these holiday themed plants are used in the US today. TheGardenLady will touch on some of the most popular Christmas plants. Common holiday plants are listed in this website, where there is a lot of interesting information given besides the list of holiday plants. In other parts of the world they may also use different plants.

The first Christmas plant materials, as told in the New Testament, were Frankincense and Myrrh. Both are resins of trees used as incense or fragrances. They were the most expensive substances in early history and were therefore the highest tribute offered. Both were and are used today as fragrances. Franckincense is from the Boswellia sacra tree and Myrrh is from the Camphor tree, Commiphora myrrha. They are are found in Oman, Yemen and the Northeast part of Somalia. Oman still produces perfumes made of Frankincense or on you can get soap made of Frankincense and Myrrh- All Natural Bath Soap – Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Bar Soap by Indigo Wild, 3oz. or Frankincense and Myrrh can be bought as fragrant oils or for incense.

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