Featured Plant: Nellie R. Stevens Holly

I love this shrub! I’ve grown it since September 1970, and it would be the one I would have if I could have only one.

Here are its assets…
Evergreen, with large, extremely deep green foliage. Spines are not especially “aggressive.”
Grows to 14-18 ft. tall and 8-12 ft. wide, but can be kept more compact with infrequent pruning.

This mature plant in Addison shows how large Nellie R. Stevens hollies can actually grow.

Outstanding plant for privacy and sound-deadening.
The best possible replacement for redtip photinias that have died due to Entomosporium fungal leaf spot.
Grows well in sun or shade.
Winter-hardy to all of Texas.
Suited to soils all across Texas.

Very few hollies produce fruit as large as Nellie R. Stevens. And this happens without having to have a male plant nearby – all plants have male and female flowers.

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Each plant bears fruit without having to have a male plant nearby. Male and female flowers are borne on the same plant.
Bright red fruit holds on the branches all winter, until flocks of robins and cedar waxwings strip them off in early spring.

You’ll find plants up to 40- and 50-gallons in size at nurseries year ‘round. This is a relatively new plant that already looks well established in its home at our church in McKinney.

Readily available in nurseries year ‘round in a variety of pot sizes. Water by hand frequently for first two years to avoid drought damage. The new plants’ original potting soil will dry out more rapidly than the native soil that surrounds it. Sprinkler irrigation alone will not be sufficient.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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