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Nellie R. Stevens Holly
Nellie R. Stephens Holly has a broad, pyramidal growth habit with lustrous, dark blue-green leaves. More details below!

Nellie R. Stevens Holly

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Nellie R. Stevens Holly
Ilex x 'Nelli R. Stevens'

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 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

A long-time favorite of landscapers and home gardens, the Nellie R. Stephens Holly is an evergreen tree with a broad, pyramidal growth habit with lustrous, dark blue-green leaves that are full to the ground. That said, lower branches can be removed to form a very attractive mid-size tree to 20 feet or more in height over time. One of the faster growing hollies, Nelli R. Stephens produces and abundant crop of bright red berries in fall that persist through winter, unless the birds get them.




Landscape & Garden Uses

The Nelli R. Stephens Holly can be grown as a shrub, with foliage from the ground up, or lower branches can be removed to form a very attractive and colorful evergreen tree. 

Growing 15 to 20 feet in height and 10 to 15 feet wide (depending on pruning), the Nelli R. Stephens Holly is ideal for use as a specimen, in single or staggered rows to form a solid privacy screen, or to frame the corners of tall homes or other structures. Great for use around swimming pools and other outdoor living and recreation spaces. The abundant crop of berries make it a welcome addition to bird and wildlife gardens. 

Suggested Spacing:  6-8' for solid privacy screens and hedges;  18' or more for space between trees




Cultural Preferences

The Nelli R. Stephens Holly is exceptionally easy to grow in most any moist but well-drained acidic soil of average fertility and full sun to part shade. 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. Four hours or more of direct sunlight per day is suggested. Minimal if an maintenance when left to grow natural. That said, many landscapers will perform an annual pruning 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: 6a-9b  Find Your Zone
Plant Type:  Evergreen Shrub or Tree
Height at Maturity:  15-20'
Width at Maturity:  12-15'
Spacing: 8' for solid hedge; 16'+ 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 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 - 6.5
Maintenance / Care:  Low to Average 
Attracts:  Visual Attention
Resistances:  Deer, Disease, Drought, Mildew, Heat, Clay Soil



Plant Long & Prosper!

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