Q. Can you tell me about growing and caring for Ilex crenata?


Ilex crenata or Japanese holly, is widely used as an evergreen shrub for foundation plantings, massing and hedges. The habit is extremely variable, ranging from a dense, many-branched shrub to a small, upright tree. The dark green leaves, often lustrous, are 1/4 to 1 1/4" in length and have small, blackish glands on the undersides. Leaves may be either flat or cupped (convex).

It is easy to transplant and grow. Provide a well-drained soil and full sun or half day shade.

Cultivars and varieties:

There are many to choose amongst. 'Beehive' is a dense, compact mounded form. 'Compacta', a globose form, has lustrous, dark, green leaves; young stems are purple. 'Convexa' is an old standby, with 1/20 in, oblong, lustrous, dark green leaves.  These plants can become quite large if not pruned. 

For more information, Missouri Botanical Garden is a wonderful rescource.

Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service

  • Last Updated Apr 02, 2018
  • Views 19
  • Answered By Anita Finkle

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