The Q&A Archives: Fertilizing Hollies

Question: Last year, I planted bushes of China Girl/Boy Hollies and Japanese hollies(Ilex crenata.) I'm interested in their rapid growth, should I fertilize them this spring, and if so, what kind of fertilizer should I use on both types?

Answer: Hollies do best in a rich, humusy, moist yet well drained soil. Assuming the soil is appropriate, then you might use a ferilizer for acid loving evergreens according to the label instructions. Keep in mind that "more is not better" in this case, so do not exceed the label rates. To encourage healthy vigorous growth make sure the plants receive adequate water for the first three years. Remember to water deeply less often rather than a daily light sprinkling. A layer of a few inches of organic mulch can also be helpful, be sure to apply it around but not touching the stems or trunk. Finally, these hollies are not terribly fast growers under any conditions, so don't expect the moon.

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