The Q&A Archives: Sun Tolerant Holly

Question: Living in Idaho in zone 6, I would like to find a broad leaf evergreen bush, such as "The Little Rascal Dwarf Holly" (3ft) to put in the front yard for winter interest. But since this part of the yard receives full sun, and temps are in the 90's in the summer I would like to know if this would be a good choice, or if you had some other suggestions.

Answer: English holly (Ilex aquifolium) tolerates more sunshine than other hollies, and all hollies grow best in rich, moist, acidic soils. If you can keep the roots cool with a layer of organic mulch, and keep your holly well-watered during the hottest months of the year, it should grow well in a sunny spot. As a matter of fact, hollies grown in full sunshine generally produce more berries. Ilex 'Mondo' is a cross between Ilex aquifolium and a cold-tolerant species from Japan. Because of its parentage, it will tolerate full sunshine and the cold winters in your gardening region. It is a male, so don't expect to see berries!

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