Pruning Holly - Knowledgebase Question

Cary, NC
Avatar for HEUBEL
Question by HEUBEL
November 3, 1999
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 from NGA
November 3, 1999
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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