Dwarf yaupon holly (llex vomitoria "Nana") is a broadleaf evergreen that is often used as a foundation shrub in landscapes in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. These adaptable, low maintenance and pest-resistant shrubs feature an attractive, globe-shaped growing form and blue-green, dime-sized, oval leaves. For best results, dwarf yaupon holly shrubs should be added to your garden or home landscape in the spring.
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When to Plant
Evergreen shrubs such as dwarf yaupon holly should be planted in the spring to give them time to establish a deep, extensive root system in their new location before the arrival of cold fall and winter temperatures. Wait to plant your dwarf yaupon shrub until you can be reasonably certain that the danger of spring frost has passed. Temperatures of 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and soil temperatures of approximately 65 degrees will encourage the shrub to take root more quickly.
Though dwarf yaupon holly shrubs are capable of growing successfully in full sun to partial shade sites, they perform best in partial sun locations that receive approximately four hours of direct sunlight per day. Dwarf yaupon holly is tolerant of a wide range of soil types including acidic, slightly alkaline, loamy, sandy and clay soils. According to the University of Florida Extension website, dwarf yaupon holly even withstands brief periods of flooding with very little ill effects.
Working the soil at the chosen site before planting your dwarf yaupon holly makes it easier for the shrub to take root in its new location. Top the surface of the soil with 3 inches peat moss, 2 inches leaf mold and 1 inch perlite; incorporate the organic materials into the soil to the depth of 10 to 12 inches using a shovel, garden fork or tiller. Amending the soil in this fashion aerates the soil and improves its drainage and nutrition.
Planting Dwarf Yaupon Holly
Dig a planting hole for your dwarf yaupon holly that is twice as wide and twice as deep as the container the shrub came in. Return some of the amended soil to the bottom of the hole so the shrub can sit at the same level it grew in the nursery. Position the shrub in the center of the hole and return the remainder of the soil. Irrigate your shrub with up to 1 inch of water after planting to help the soil settle. If planting multiple dwarf yaupon shrubs in your home landscape, space the planting holes 4 to 5 feet apart.