Posted by Susan Harris.

The other day I asked Joseph Panossian, Homestead's Woodies Guy, for his top pick in the Woodies Department right now and he practically ran to grab a 'Blue Princess' holly. They're great for that "winter interest" that garden writers are always recommending, and here's lots more about them, thanks principally to the world-famous Missouri Botanic Garden website. Oh, and they're 50% off.


  • Height can reach 12' at maturity but with "minimal pruning", they can be kept shorter.
  • Leaves are dark green and glossy.
  • Surprisingly soft (not sharp or cutting) to the touch (for a holly).
  • Berries are bright red.
  • Happy in USDA Zones 5-8.
  • Best grown in full sun (6 hours a day) but fine in part shade.
  • Best grown in acidic soil.  (So fertilize with Hollytone or similar product for acid-loving plants?  See comment below.)

For berries, gotta have a Prince

Blue Princess hollies need a male pollinator in order to have berries, but not a lot of them - one Prince can service up to five Princesses.


Go ahead and snip off some berry-laden stems in early winter for holiday decorating - no harm done.  You might leave a few berries for the birds, too.  Then if they need light pruning for shape, late spring is the best time to do that.

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