Ilex crenata

6 × 9cm pots £53.94 £34.99
9cm pot £8.99
available to order from autumn
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Ilex crenata box-leaved holly: This makes a good alternative to Buxus

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
  • Rate of growth: slow to average
  • Flowering period: May
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    The leaves of this evergreen holly are glossy and deep green, and as they are relatively small, it can be kept clipped into shape and used as an alternative to box. A bushy shrub, it can be trained as a small tree (in Japan it is often 'cloud' pruned to form a magnificent focal point or specimen), and it will also make an attractive, year-round hedge or screen.

  • Garden care: Plants grown as free-standing specimens require minimal pruning - remove diseased or misplaced branches in spring. Trim plants grown as formal hedges or topiary in late summer. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted compost or manure around the base of the plant.

  • Humans/Pets: Fruit are ornamental - not to be eaten

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Delivery information

Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread
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Fantastic value


Healthy strong plants with great root system.Managed to split two pots up so ended up with 8 plants for the price of 6 .

Freckled frog




5.0 1


Is Ilex crenata male or female? I already have a female holly and would like a male to ensure I get some berries.


This is a variable species, so it is possible to have both male and female plants.


what variety of ilex crenata is this? is it the same as the ilex crenata 'dark green' that is listed on other pages of your site?

replacing box

Hello, No, this is the species, while 'Dark Green' is a cultivar.


I am thinking of buying these but would want to keep them as balls no more that 2-3ft. Can they be kept trimmed to this sort of size?


Yes, these are similar to box plants in that they are quite happy being clipped back into tight balls.


Hi. I am considering buying some ilex crenata plants to use as clipped specimens in pots. If I bought them in 9cm pots now, can I plant a few together in a single pot to create instant impact or am I better off either buying a larger plant to start with or planting them individually in smaller pots and waiting for them to grow? Also I know they are hardy, but would they survive a very cold winter like last year in small pots or would they require more protection? I live in Scotland and my garden is at 600 feet, so it can be pretty cold and wet! Many thanks Catherine


These 9cm plant will be approx 10-15cm tall so even planting in a group isn't going to give that much impact. It would be better to get the larger plants or the clipped balls. I have added the links to these below. They are fully hardy but I would wrap the pots in frost fleece to protect the roots.


Hi there, We are thinking about purchasing Will they grow ok over winter? Do we need to transfer into bigger troughs immediately? Eventually to use as box hedging. I see they can grow to 3m across but will they be just as ok more compact? How many max per meter is advisable?


These plants are fully hardy so are not put off by the cold, although like most plants, they will become dormant during the colder months so will not put on any top growth until spring. The good news is that the soil is still reasonably warm, so if they are planted now, they may put on some root growth before the really cold weather sets in. As for planting distances, it depends on the effect you are trying to create, but if you are looking at creating a low hedge, then I would plant them at 25-30cm intervals.


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