Ever wondered why your holly doesn't have berries? We explain why.

Hollies are either male or female – only the females berry. Very few are self-fertile, so a female generally needs a male nearby (in the same garden or a neighbour’s) to produce berries. Alternatively, over pruning may be the reason for a non-berrying holly (hollies only fruit on wood two years old, or more). Late pruning (only prune in late winter/early spring), or drought or frost at flowering time, are other causes. Want to grow holly in your garden? Here’s our top five variety picks!

 

5 CHOICE HOLLIES

1. Ilex crenata ‘Golden Gem’
This is such a classy, graceful plant, especially when cloud- or topiary-pruned; in small cultivar form it is a fabulous ground cover plant. 5ft (1.5m) high and wide.

2. Ilex x koehneana ‘Chestnut Leaf’
Conspicuously toothed leaves that are more sweet chestnut than holly (hence the name). Also produces clusters of red berries. 33ft (10m) high x 13ft (4m) wide.

3. ‘J. C. Van Tol’
Produces berries freely and has glossy, dark green foliage and a dense pyramidal form, making it very good for hedges.

4.Ilex aquifolium ‘Handsworth New Silver’
This holly has just the right balance of variegation to green leaf; a dark green centre with a cream edge and lots of berries. 13ft (4m) high x 6ft (2m) wide.

5. Ilex integra ‘Gold Leaf’
This is a fairly new hybrid and it requires a bit of searching to find it, but it is definitely worth it for its amazing, pure gold new foliage. 6ft (2m) high x 5ft (1.5m) wide.

SUPPLIERS

Welsh Holly
Camarthenshire
(01994) 231 789
info@welsh-holly.co.uk

King and Co
The Tree Nursery Ltd, Essex
(01376) 340469
sales@kingco.co.uk

Majestic Trees, Herts
(01582) 843881
info@majesticgroup.co.uk