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Rootballed Holly Hedging

Rootballed Holly Hedging

Planting root balled holly hedging is a cost effective way to plant a holly hedge without paying the price of container grown plants. Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is the only prickly evergreen plant suitable for hedging that is native to this country. Contrary to perceptions holly actually grows quite quickly and will form an excellent dense hedge in an acceptable time. Holly hedging clips easily and freely regenerates from old wood. It produces red berries which remain well into the winter and are favoured by birds when food is scarce. Pyracantha is also prickly and forms an excellent hedge with white flowers in the Spring and orange berries which last well into the autumn. Scroll down for more information.

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Why should I plant a Holly hedge?

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is also known as Common Holly or English Holly.  It is the only prickly evergreen hedging plant native to the UK and has been cultivated since ancient times.  It grows extensively in the wild and has long been used as a hedging plant.  Holly grows relatively slowly and forms an attractive dense dark green barrier with red berries in the winter which are a favoured food supply for wild birds. 

How tall will Holly grow?

A single Holly can be grown into an attractive tree and will grow to a good height if left for long enough.  When planting a Holly hedge, it can quite happily be grown as a short hedge of around 2ft in height but will be equally happy grown as a taller hedge with a height of 10ft or more.  Holly can also be cut back hard and will regenerate which makes it useful for those trying to restore older hedges.

How quickly will a Holly hedge grow?

Holly are relatively slow growing and they will put on around 6-9 inches of growth each year if left untrimmed and can take a while to fill out into a dense hedge.  Once the hedge has reached its desired height it should be trimmed at that height accordingly to maintain its size and increase its density.  This will slow down the upward growth of your hedge and encourage growth sideways to make a denser hedge.  If you are looking for a fast growing instant hedge, then Holly is probably not the answer unless you are prepared to wait for your plants to thicken out into a dense visual barrier.  However, Holly does make an excellent hedge if a little bit of patience is exercised.

When should I clip or trim a Holly hedge?

A Holly hedge will need to be clipped annually in the Spring or Autumn as you would with any other hedge.

How far apart should I plant a Holly hedge?

We recommend that Holly should be planted at 1ft (30cm) apart in a single row or alternatively at 1.5ft (45cm) apart in a staggered double row which will help to create a thicker visual barrier in a shorter time frame.  As with all hedges careful preparation of the planting site is important.  See section below on how to look after your Holly hedge after planting.

How do I look after my Holly hedge after planting? 

Although Holly plants will put up with most soil types, we recommended that the planting soil is mixed with compost to give the plants the best environment to grow in for their first year.  After planting, your Holly hedge should be watered regularly during its first year to give it the best chance of survival and this is especially important if your hedge is being planted in the drier summer months.  That being said, Holly does not like waterlogged soils and so over-watering can be a problem.

How do I water my Holly hedge?

Watering a Holly hedge is especially important if you are planting during the summer or a dry period.  For watering, we recommend using leaky hose (sometimes described as porous pipe) which can be connected to your existing hose pipe and will slowly leak water onto the roots of your hedge in a controlled manner to ensure that it soaks in and your hedge becomes properly watered.  Leaky hose is cheap, easy to install and very effective.  See our Accessories page for more details on leaky hose.

Is Holly tolerant of different soil types?

Holly will tolerate most soil types but do not like being in waterlogged soil.  If you have a particularly wet site, speak to us for alternative suggestions.

Does Holly like full sun or shade?

Holly will grow well in full sunshine or partial shade.

We usually stock a selection of different sizes of Holly throughout the year. 

For more information on our availability of Holly or if you have any questions or queries about existing Holly hedging or need advice about planting a new Holly hedge, please call us on 01252 714552 or email