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Mary Nell Holly

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Mary Nell Holly
Ilex x  'Mary Nell' 

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 7a-10b  Find Your Zone

Note:  For our customers who live and garden north of USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7a, where this Holly variety is not reliably winter hardy, you'll be happy to know it can be grown in containers that can be brought indoors during winter and placed back outside when temperatures warm up in spring.

Special Attributes

Mary Nell Holly is a care-free large shrub or small tree with lustrous dark green shiny foliage that remains year round. It produces LOADS of berries in summer turning bright red in fall and persisting throughout winter. Mary Nell has a natural, pyramidal form, handsome enough to be a specimen tree while growing fast enough to form a privacy screen.

Landscape & Garden Uses

Growing naturally in a pyramidal form 15 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide at its base, the Mary Nell Holly can be grown as a large shrub or small tree. It is ideal for use as a focal point specimen, in groupings, or in a single or staggered rows as an evergreen privacy screening in landscape borders. Also effective to frame corners or as an accent tree in home foundation plantings or to line a driveway or street.

Spacing Recommendations:  8' apart for privacy screen, 16' apart for space between trees

Cultural Preferences

The Mary Nell Holly is exceptionally easy to grow. It adapts to many soils preferring a moist but well-drained acidic soil of average fertility. Alkaline soils result in chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) which can be corrected by the application of chelated iron and/or soil sulfur. More berries are produced in full to mostly sun however you can expect a good crop even with some shade. Six hours of direct sunlight per day is suggested. Relatively low maintenance when left to grow natural. That said, many landscapers will perform an annual pruning or shearing to maintain a more formal appearance or to control size.

Important Note:  Any heavy pruning after spring flowering will reduce or eliminate berry production.

Helpful Articles

Click on a link below to get helpful advice from our experts on how to plant and care for a Holly tree.

How To Plant A Holly Tree In The Ground Or In Pots

How To Prune A Holly Bush Or Tree

How To Fertilize & Water A Holly Tree

Privacy Screen Design And Planting Tips

Plant Details

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 7a-9b  Find Your Zone
Plant Type:  Evergreen Shrub or Tree
Height at Maturity:  15-20'
Width at Maturity:  8'
Spacing:  5-6' for solid hedges or screen planting; 10-12'+ for space between plants
Growth Habit / Form:  Dense, Pyramidal
Growth Rate:  Moderate, Fast
Flower Color:  White
Flower Size:  Small
Flowering Period:  May, June
Flower Type:  
Fragrant Flowers:  No
Foliage Color:  Dark Olive Green
Fragrant Foliage:  No
Berries:  Yes
Berry Color:  Red
Sun Needs:  Full Sun or Mostly Sun, Morning Sun with Dappled or Afternoon Shade, Morning Shade with Evening Sun
Water Needs:  Average, Low when established
Soil Type:  Clay, Loam, Sandy, Silty
Soil Moisture / Drainage:  Well Drained Moist to Somewhat Dry
Soil pH:  5.5 - 7
Maintenance / Care:  Low to Average 
Attracts:  Visual Attention, Birds
Resistances:  Deer, Disease, Drought, Mildew, Heat, Clay Soil

Plant Long & Prosper!

Questions?  Contact Us >

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