• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigourous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Ilex aquifolium

Common holly

AGM plants

AGM plants have been through a rigourous trial and assessment programme. They are:

  • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
  • Available to buy
  • Of good constitution
  • Essentially stable in form & colour
  • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases
Common holly

© � RHS

  • Other common names Common holly
    English holly

    Holly
    Holm
    Hulst
    Hulver

    see more
  • Genus Ilex can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees with often spiny leaves, small white flowers (male and female usually on separate plants) and, on female plants, showy berries in autumn

  • Family Aquifoliaceae / Aquifoliaceae

  • Species I. aquifolium is a medium-sized evergreen tree, slow-growing when young, with dark, glossy green, undulate and usually strongly spiny leaves. Small, dull white flowers in spring are followed by bright red berries, on pollinated female plants

  • Plant range Europe, N Africa, S&W Asia

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Toxicity Berries may cause mild stomach upset if ingested

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)
    Old hardiness ratings

    While we update our systems with the new hardiness ratings you may still see old hardiness ratings in your search results. These are denoted as 'Old'.

    • H1 - Requires heated glass
    • H2 - Requires unheated glass
    • H3 - Hardy outside in some regions of the UK
    • H4 - Hardy throughout the UK
    • H1 + H3 - Requires heated glass but may be grown outside in summer

    For full details of the hardiness ratings see

    see more

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Sand

  • Chalk

    Clay

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Chalk

    Loam

  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height

    Higher than 12 metres

  • Ultimate spread

    4-8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height

    20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Easy to grow in a well-drained soil in a sunny position

Propagation Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Hedging & Screens City & Courtyard Gardens Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests aphids, scale insects and holly leaf miner may be a problem

Diseases May be affected by holly leaf blight

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