Holly has been a favorite winter decoration for at least 2000 years. But if you think holly is just good for decking the halls, think again.
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Holly is easy to grow and will grow almost anywhere. Most evergreen hollies can thrive in temperatures as low as 15 below, and deciduous varieties are hardy to 30 degrees below. Although holly prefers well-drained acidic soil, it will adapt well in even less than ideal conditions.
Holly belongs to the Ilex genus. There are approximately 20 American holly species, 120 Asian species and nearly 200 varieties of English holly.
When most people think of holly, they think of the beautiful bright berries. From cherry red berries on English holly to orange berries on American holly, it’s usually the holly berry that steals the show. On some English hollies it’s the variegated foliage that’s the main attraction.
Hollies can be either male or female and the female produces the bounty of berries. But you need a male holly somewhere nearby as well to pollinate your female holly.