How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Holly—Ilex spp.*
Family Aquifoliaceae (Holly family)

Plant Identification

There are hundreds of species and varieties of hollies. They are evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees and can range in size from 1 foot dwarfs to 50 foot tall trees. Most plants are either male or female. Both must be present for female plants to produce fruit. Most hollies are symmetrical. Leaves are often thick with spiny or toothed edges. Hollies produce black or red berries.

*Some species of Ilex are invasive weeds. Other types of plants may be better choices when planting.

Optimum conditions for growth

Many hollies are grown as foundation plantings or hedges. Others are grown as screens. Hollies do well in areas with full sun or partial shade. They require rich soil, regular amounts of water, and good drainage. Apply mulch to keep soil cool and moist and to prevent weeds. Prune out dead branches. Small varieties can be shaped into hedges or topiary shapes. Hollies are often pruned around the winter holiday season as clippings are often used as indoor decorations.

Red berries and foliage
Red berries and foliage of Dwarf burford holly

Pests and disorders of Ilex spp.



Environmental disorders



Dwarf burford holly
Dwarf burford holly, Ilex cornuta'Burfordii Nana'

Foliage and fruit
Foliage and green fruit of dwarf burford holly

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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