A versatile and adaptable shrub or small tree, this native of the southeastern United States is valued for its dense evergreen foliage and showy abundant winter fruit.
The small, shiny, oval, weakly-teethed leaves are bright green to dark drab green. Ripening in fall, the clustered, persistent, pea-size fruits are typically a translucent bright red but may be orange or yellow. Fruits occur only on female plants, which require a male pollinator. They are preceded by inconspicuous white flowers in spring.
Perhaps the most adaptable evergreen holly for mild-winter climates, yaupon does well in sun or shade, clay or sand, and acid or alkaline soil, and tolerates salt spray and shearing. Use it in place of similar but less adaptable hollies such as Ilex crenata. Large cultivars are excellent as specimens or for hedges and screening; small cultivars work wonderfully in foundation plantings, mixed borders, and containers. This shrub also makes an excellent bonsai, topiary, or espalier subject. Birds and other wildlife browse the fruits, especially in late winter when food is scarce. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Ilex
Species - Vomitoria
Common name - Christmas Berry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 7 - 11
Height - 4'-25' / 1.20 - 7.60 m
Spread - 5'-15' / 1.50 - 4.60 m
Plant type - Shrub / Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, laom, Sand, well drained
Water requirements - Drought tolerant, average water
Landscape uses - Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier
Germination rate - 50%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green, Olive, Dark Green / White
|1. Grow holly from seed in autumn once daytime temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water for 48 hours to soften the hard outer hull before sowing them.
2. Fill a seedling tray with a mixture of 3 parts compost and 1 part perlite. Firm the mixture and add more, if necessary, so the seedling tray is filled to the brim.
3. Sow the holly seeds in the seedling tray one inch apart and 1/4 inch deep. Spread a thin layer of coarse sand onto the surface of the mixture to help hold in moisture and to keep it cool.
4. Moisten the potting mix to a depth of 1 inch using a garden hose with a misting nozzle attachment. Maintain moisture within the mixture at a depth of 1 inch at all times during germination.
5. Place the seedling tray into a ventilated cold frame after sowing the holly seeds. Do not move the seedling tray once it is in the cold frame since sudden temperature fluctuations will cause the seeds to go dormant.
6. Close the ventilation on the cold frame in spring to help hold in warmth once daytime temperatures rise above 68 F during the day. Check the moisture level in the growing mixture often since the warmer temperatures will dry it out faster than during the cold winter months.
7. Watch for germination in late spring, but do not be discouraged if seedlings don't appear until autumn. As soon as they appear, transplant the holly seedlings into 1-gallon nursery containers filled with garden soil.
8. Keep the nursery containers inside the cold frame until the following spring. Water them regularly to a depth of 1 inch to keep them from wilting.
9. Move the holly seedlings from the cold frame to a sheltered, partially shaded spot once daytime temperatures reach 60 F in the spring. Keep them in their nursery containers until they grow to 6 inches in height, and then plant them in a sunny bed with good drainage.
Info source: eHow.com