The Q&A Archives: Pruning Holly

Question: I am interested in the correct time of the year to prune my Nellie Stevens Holly. I want to control the shrub size and promote more "lush" foliage.

Also, please recommend the proper fertilizer to use for the Nellie Stevens and ALSO Southern Magnolia tress

Answer: Holly can be pruned this winter if you want to use the cuttings for holiday decorations, or in the spring, just prior to new growth. A complete, balanced fertilizer can be applied in the spring after new growth begins. I use an 8-8-8 on my hollies, broadcasting 1/4 pound per inch of trunk diameter under the plant and raking it into the soil.

Magnolia trees will benefit from an 8-12-4 ratio of NPK. The higher phosphorus content will promote blooms. Fertilize in the early spring, working it into the soil below the dripline of the tree.

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