From the Sperry Garden – October, 2007
You may be familiar with my suggestion of buying a plant that grows to the height and width you have available, then stops without regular shearing. So, what’s going on with these dwarf yaupons and dwarf Chinese hollies? How come they’ve been trimmed with a gasoline-powered trimmer? Can this really be Neil’s yard?
Indeed, I do trim my dwarf hollies one time per year, generally in mid-February, just before the new spring growth emerges. Then I don’t touch them at all until the following spring. The result is softly rounded plants as soon as the new shoots develop. It’s more easily accomplished with dwarf yaupons due to their small leaf size, but I do it with all or my hollies that are less than 6 feet tall. Four weeks from now you won’t be able to tell they were ever this round.
The taller plant that resembles dwarf yaupon in the background is actually a comparatively new selection of yaupon. It’s called First Lady and it grows to about 5 feet tall and wide. As an added bonus, unlike dwarf yaupon, First Lady produces berries each winter. It’s the perfect 5-foot, spreading shrub for sun or shade. You may have to hunt for it or have it special-ordered for you, but it’s worth the look.