Holly (Ilex) is a perennial plant belonging to the Holly family. The genus consists of more than 400 species and is widely distributed throughout the temperate and tropical zones of both the Americas, Asia and Europe.
Holly is deciduous, but often evergreen trees, shrubs and even creepers with shiny dense alternating leaves that have a dark green or two-tone color. The edge of the leaf plate can be either solid or indented with very sharp spikes.
Holly flowering is unremarkable and does not represent decorative value. In spring, small light flowers appear in the axils of the leaves. Male and female flowers usually grow on different trees.
Holly berries are drupes of red, orange, yellow, white or black. They are bright, beautiful and stay on the plant all winter. For humans, holly berries are poisonous, but pose no danger to birds.
Types of holly
Holly wrinkled - originally from the Far East. It is an evergreen shrub up to half a meter high. It grows low or spreads on the ground, and spends the winter under the snow.
Holly Colchis originates from Asia Minor and Transcaucasia. Under natural conditions it is a tree, and in the middle lane it grows in the form of a creeping shrub that does not exceed the snow cover. In our conditions it often freezes, but grows quickly during the warm season.
Holly Whorled - the most decorative view from North America, it is a shrub up to 3 meters high. Its spreading crown grows slowly, the plant begins to bloom no earlier than at 12 years old.
Holly Gorodchaty - his homeland is Japan and South Sakhalin. Most often this tree, reaching a height of 7 m, sometimes a shrub with small and numerous leaves.
Holly Paraguayan comes from South America, where it grows up to 15 meters in height. It is from it that mate is prepared - a delicious and healing drink that helps to restore strength.
Holly Holly - the most famous and widespread species growing in Europe, Southwest Asia and northern Africa. It is an evergreen tree, reaching a height of 10 to 25 meters with a trunk with a diameter of 30-80 cm and a smooth gray bark. Leaves with jagged sharp wavy curved edges 5-12 cm long, 2-6 wide. Fruits are red, up to 1 cm in diameter. The plant blooms from May to June with small white bisexual flowers, bears fruit in September and February. It has many varieties and is widely used in landscaping. There are varieties suitable for keeping as a potted plant.
Holly in pot culture is very difficult to care for. In indoor conditions, the height and width can eventually reach 1.8 m. Although the plant is poisonous, its toxins do not pose a threat to life. Care must be taken with its spiny leaves.
Temperature and lighting
The holly grows well in partial shade, but tolerates even a certain amount of direct rays of the sun. Variegated varieties so that they do not lose their decorativeness, you need good lighting.
The plant does not like heat, it is better that in the room where the holly is standing the temperature does not rise above 21 degrees. In winter, the temperature should be about 10 degrees, it should not fall below 0 and rise above 15 - otherwise you will not grow holly.
Humidity and watering
Holly absolutely does not tolerate stagnation of moisture in the pot, as well as the complete drying of an earthen coma. The soil between waterings should dry. It is watered abundantly in the summer, and hydration is reduced in winter. Leaves should be sprayed regularly, especially at high temperatures.
Fertilizer and fertilizing
Once a month from April to September with complex fertilizers.
Soil and transplant
No need to transplant the plant annually - do it once every 2-3 years. Soil can be taken ready-made universal and add perlite and charcoal to it. Need good drainage and a pot with holes.
Flowering and pruning
In spring and summer, small white flowers. Holly is a dioecious plant. In order for the fruits to form, it is necessary that the female and male plants stand nearby.
Requires regular shaping pruning, in which caution is required due to sharp leaves. Holly can be grown in the form of bonsai.
Seed propagation is difficult, as they germinate poorly. Before landing, they need stratification. It is easier to propagate the plant by summer apical cuttings, which are cut about 10 cm long, the section is treated with phytohormone and rooted in a peat-sand mixture at a temperature of 18 degrees. Roots can form after three months in a shaded area. After planting in pots, rooted cuttings are gradually accustomed to the sun.
Pests, diseases and possible problems
May be affected by mealybug, whitefly, scale insects, aphids. With low humidity, a spider mite will almost certainly appear. Treat the plant with an insecticide.
Root rot can appear when the soil is waterlogged.
Stains on the leaves can be a consequence of fungal diseases - you need to remove the affected leaves and treat the holly with an appropriate fungicide.
Holly is very suffering from heat.
Sunburn is possible, especially in specimens with dark plain foliage and young plants.