Ilex varieties - care, cutting and diseases

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Ilex varieties - care, cutting and diseases: care

The Ilex is found in all climate zones of the world, but most often it is most common in tropical or subtropical regions. There are about 204 species growing in China and 149 of them are found only in this part of the world. In Central Europe only the European Holly is at home (Ilex aquifolium).
Danger: The holly Ilex aquifolium is highly poisonous!

Characteristics of the Ilex

The Ilex shrub reaches heights between two and 25 meters. The main leaves are large and leathery, deep dark green and shiny. They have a serrated edge and have an elliptical shape. While the flowers look rather small and inconspicuous, the red drupes that form the holly are very appealing. In some species, these berries tend to remain green, others brown to black. Either the plant grows as an evergreen shrub or as a densely branched tree. As a shrub it reaches heights of up to one meter, as a tree even up to 15 meters. Interestingly, the leaves change shape and color the higher the branch they grow on. The higher the leaves grow, the fewer spines they have at their edges. In addition, they are smaller than the lower leaves and have a more brownish color.
Tip: Holly can become several hundred years old depending on location and location.

Location in the garden and in the great outdoors

In Germany, it occurs especially in the low mountain ranges west of the Rhine, in the Black Forest, in the north and in the Alpine foothills. Here it grows mostly in the gardens or in the wild in beech or spruce forests. The soil should be moist and have a low-lime level. In the cities, the Ilex is also a part of parks and public facilities.
  • Basically, the Ilex is rather undemanding, as long as he has his loose and moist soil under his feet.
  • He rather prefers a bright spot in the garden or in the park, but as a shrub he also feels comfortable under big trees.
  • In such a partially shaded place it should be airy and bright.
Since he likes to stand on damp ground in nature, one should consider this preference above all when the Ilex is planted in a bucket or in a smaller front garden bed. The less soil is available to him, the more thoroughly mus must be paid attention to the soil moisture. However, as it grows quite slowly, a larger bucket is right for him. Here he can stay for a few years.

Ilex care

An advantage of the Ilex is in addition to the beautiful red berry fruits that he needs little care. Once he has grown and feels comfortable at his location, his owner only needs to take care of the soil moisture. In addition, the Ilex should not be planted in a wind corridor, he does not like it that much. If the plant grows on the balcony or on the terrace in the tub, it must be supplied with water and nutrients like all other potted plants.
  • For a possible fertilization occasionally complete fertilizer can be used.
  • Also horn shavings can be very helpful if the earth is not so active after years.
  • Since the Ilex, however, requires little nutrients, over-fertilizing is easily resented.

Ilex crenata - Glory gem - mountain Ilex

If you pay attention to the pH of the soil and react accordingly, the Ilex will feel very well. Basically, a layer of bark mulch can keep the moisture in the soil longer. Also from time to time a gift of chopped plants or grass sections promotes well-being.

Ilex cut

Ilex twigs are valued by us mainly because of the decorative effect of the leaves with the red berries. If the shrub or tree is to be cut for other reasons, this is easily possible. He can be arbitrarily put into shape without him suffering. A pruning, as it is carried out to promote the growth of other plants, does not necessarily take place. If the Ilex is planted as a hedge or as a screen, it can be cut into the desired shape. However, as it only grows slowly, it takes longer for the desired height to set.
Unlike other plants, the Ilex is best cut in summer. Between July and August would be the best time for pruning. If necessary, he would also tolerate a pruning at other times, without perishing or losing his beautiful appearance.

Possible diseases of the ilex

There are no diseases or pests that could affect the Ilex more frequently or better than other plants. The miner fly would be a potential parasite, leaving bright or brown spots on the leaves caused by the fly's feeding. It leaves ugly spots, but is otherwise not harmful to the holly. Serious diseases are not to be feared.
Also the camellia wool shark louse could haunt the holly. On the underside of the leaves wooly white structures - the so-called egg sacks - would be found. If the infestation gets out of hand, it can lead to honeydrop formation. This Schildlausart is found like on Schaffenhütchen, ivy, camellia or rhododendron. If these plants are in the immediate vicinity of the Ilex, it is possible to migrate.

Ilex proliferate

If the holly is to be propagated, it is best to form shoots. An increase by seeds from the berries would be too difficult and tedious. Cuttings can be formed in August, which also form roots in the soil. It takes a while, so the patience of the gardener is needed.

Find out more about Ilex varieties in a nutshell

  • Ilex are very cut friendly. This makes them suitable for hedge planting.
  • The variety 'Blue Prince' is the ideal hedge plant, dense, beautiful dark green, bears fruit and is impenetrable, otherwise it stings.
  • You should be careful with some Ilex varieties because of their toxicity. In some, the berries and leaves are more or less toxic.
  • Not all Ilex are sufficiently hardy. Before you buy a plant, you should inquire exactly whether it is suitable.
There are over 2,000 varieties, because you are spoiled for choice. The most visually beautiful cultivars are often the most sensitive. If you meet the necessary site conditions (no winter sun, mulched soil) but you can try it with such a variety. Ideal are:
  • Ilex aquifolium 'Silver Queen'
  • Ilex aquafolium 'Ferox Argentea'
  • Ilex x altaclerensis' Golden King'
All three convince by their colored foliage. Otherwise, the species differ in the different shape, color and size of the leaves. From a beautiful dark green are the leaves of the Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess', at 'Blue Hollies' they already look dark blue. There are very light green and yellow specimens. There is something for every taste. Very popular too 'Argenteomarginata'because of their silvery foliage and 'Golden Milkboy / Milk Girl' because of her gold-spotted leaves.
Fruits only arise when female and male specimens are planted together. Especially suitable Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Prince', If you only want a single plant, you should look for Ilex aquifolium 'J.C. van Tol ' decide. This is einhäusig and fruitful in individual position satisfactory.

Video Board: How to grow Compacta Hollies with detailed description.

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