Alphabetical Plant Listing

Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly)

Japanese Holly, Boxleaf Holly 'Sky Pencil', Box-leaved Holly


Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly) is a slow growing, evergreen shrub or small tree with a shiny foliage of tiny, wavy-toothed, dark green leaves, ½ to 1¼ in. in length (1-3 cm). The smooth rounded leaves resemble those of boxwood. However, Japanese Holly is hardier and more disease resistant. Small black fruits follow the tiny white flowers in late summer and fall. The habit is very variable, ranging from a dense, compact, many-branched shrub to a small, upright tree. Easy to grow, Japanese Holly can be pruned, if desired, to manage its size. It is quite popular for foundation planting, massing, and hedges.

  • Grows up to 4-10 ft. tall and wide (120-300 cm).
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. This plant is not fussy and tolerates a wide variety of soils. However, it prefers moist, slightly acidic soil with good drainage. Some drought tolerance once established.
  • Perfect for hedges and screens, foundation plantings, city gardens or cottage gardens.
  • Prune immediately after flowering.
  • May be affected by aphids, scale insects, holly leaf miner or holly leaf blight. Deer resistant.
  • Propagate by seed or by semi-hardwood cuttings.
  • Native to Asia, from Japan, Korea to Russia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 7
Heat Zones 5 – 7
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Ilex - Hollies
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4' – 10' (120cm – 3m)
Spread 4' – 10' (120cm – 3m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Garden Uses Edging, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage

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Wendy Cutler (Flickr), Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 7
Heat Zones 5 – 7
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Ilex - Hollies
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4' – 10' (120cm – 3m)
Spread 4' – 10' (120cm – 3m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Garden Uses Edging, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Ilex - Hollies

Guides with Ilex - Hollies

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