Variety: Ilex opaca
Cultivar: B & O
Zones: 5 to 10
AHS Heat Zone: Not defined for this plant
Soil Type: Some sand to loam
Soil pH: 5.5 to 7
Sunlight: Sun to full sun
Watering: Normal to moist
Fertilizer: Shrub and tree fertilizer
Availability: Sold as live, potted plants.
When to plant: Plant the B & 0 Holly at any time during the growing season when there is no danger of frost.
CONTAINER: Dig a planting hole twice the size of the root ball and as deep as the soil in the container. Center the B & 0 Holly in the planting hole and backfill with soil. Create a water ring around the perimeter of the planting hole. The water ring will help divert water to the outside roots and will encourage proper root growth and nourishment. Mulch with at least three inches of compost or pulverized bark. Water well.
BALLED AND BURLAPED: Dig a planting hole three times the size of the root ball and as deep as the root ball. Scarify the sides of the planting hole with a pitchfork or shovel. If the burlap is synthetic, remove and discard it, as synthetic burlap does not decompose. Center the B & 0 Holly in the planting hole. Remove any staples or ties holding organic burlap on the plant. Fold the top of the burlap down far enough into the planting hole so that it is completely covered when you backfill. Backfill with soil. Create a water ring around the perimeter of the planting hole. Mulch with at least three inches of compost or pulverized bark. Water well.
BARE ROOT: Soak the B & 0 Holly's roots for at least eight hours to ensure proper hydration. Dig a planting hole as wide as the spread-out roots and as deep as the discoloration on the trunk that shows how deep the holly was previously planted. Center the holly in the planting hole and backfill with soil. Create a water ring around the perimeter of the planting hole. The water ring will help divert water to the outside roots and will encourage proper root growth and nourishment. Mulch with at least 3 inches of compost or pulverized bark and water well.
Watering: Water with at least an inch of water per week. The soil should be kept moist to a depth of 18 inches. Water again when the top six to seven inches of soil dries out. If you have a problem with excess standing water, create a French drain to help divert excess water to another part of the garden or yard.
Fertilizing: Fertilize the B & 0 Holly with shrub and tree fertilizer once every three years in the spring. If a soil test shows low or missing nutrients, use a nutrient-specific fertilizer instead of an all-purpose fertilizer. If you use organic fertilizer, such as fish emulsion, be sure to follow the instructions on the package, as different brands have different ingredients and strengths.
Production: B & 0 Holly is a low-maintenance evergreen tree that produces small, dark-green leaves and flowers in shades of cream and white. It also produces berries. This plant is poisonous.
Cleanup: Prune B & 0 Holly in the spring and throughout the growing season for dead and decaying plant matter. Pinch the stem tips to encourage foliage growth.
Warning: B & O Holly is susceptible to blight. Blights are caused by various fungi and bacteria. There are many different types of blight, and each type has its own method of control. Help prevent blight from attacking this plant by keeping it disease and pest-free.
Learn about the care and planting of Bickel Holly, a cultivar of Ilex opaca.