EXTENSION CONNECTION: Holly plants in the Florida landscape

Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 09:56 AM.

Other tree-form holly hybrids develop by crossing two or more plant species within a given genus. A few include Foster, East Palatka, Nellie R. Stevens and Mary Nell.

Hollies with multicolored leaves include variegated English holly. And there are a few hollies that shed annually such as Ambiguous winterberry and Possumhaw holly. There are hollies that produce bright red berries. But berry color varies from red, orange and yellow to even black or white, depending on variety.

Only female plants produce berries. Hollies are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are located on separate plants. Male flowers produce pollen required, in most cases, to pollinate female flowers.

Many dwarf types of holly don’t produce berries because they come from male plants. To ensure that your plants produce berries, ask for female plants when purchasing. If the plant already has berries on it, you know it is a female.

You should consider other characteristics when selecting hollies. There are weeping forms available such as the weeping yaupon holly. There are those that have a very narrow, upright habit such as the cultivar ‘Will Fleming.’

Hollies are not foolproof. They may attract pests and must be planted and cared for properly.

However, for the most part, this group of plants has much to offer. Once established, they require little care and have very good drought tolerance.

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