Types of Holly Bushes


When you hear holly bushes mentioned you automatically picture the holiday season and the green leaves and red berries. You may be surprised to learn that there are many different types of holly bushes.


  • There are over 400 types of holly. (Resource 1) They range from bushes to hedges to tall trees. They are an adaptable plant and can be found in almost every country in the world.

Most Common Types

  • The English holly is the most common, with its spiny green leaves and red berries, often associated with Christmas. The Chinese holly produces berries of dark red, orange or yellow and have spiny, shiny green leaves. The Japanese holly has bright black berries and evergreen leaves. The Inkberry holly also produces berries that are black in color. The blue holly produces red berries, but the leaves have a bluish-green hue. (Reference 1)


  • There are male and female holly plants; in order for the holly to produce berries the male and female plants must be near each other. This is necessary for most holly bushes. (Reference 1)


  • While hollies are commonly chosen for fill plants in landscapes due to their smaller size, they also can be found in medium and large sizes to create a hedge or larger holly bush as your main focus.

When to Plant Holly Bushes

  • The best time to plant holly bushes is in the fall, especially in warm climates. You can start with seeds, but it will be awhile before you see anything from them. It's easier to plant an already-growing holly bush. Holly bushes will last through the winter months. Make sure they have plenty of sunlight and you give them adequate water in the summer months.


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