The Q&A Archives: What is the correct way to care for a Holly bush?

Question: We recently moved to the Mid-Atlantic region from the Mid-West. Our new home has an enormous Holly bush near the front steps. It looks neglected and is overgrown. When is the best time to trim and shape it and how do we care for it?

Answer: Hollies are fairly low maintenance plants. Keep it mulched year round with several inches of organic mulch spread over the root area, but do not allow it to touch the trunk. Apply a slow release granular fertilizer for acid loving plants such as Hollytone in the spring, read and follow the label directions for how much to use. You can prune or thin out the longest branches in late winter and trim again if needed in early summer. Do not prune after July as this can stimulate late season growth that does not have time to harden off before winter sets in. Enjoy your new home!

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