Q. Is ilex aquifolium Scotch self fertilizing? Is it recommended for growing zone 7 A.
Ilex aquifolium (English holly) and its cultivars are better ornamental plants than American hollies but not reliably winter hardy in the northeast. This plant is typically considered hardy only in zones 7 and up, but some cultivars, like 'Scotch', extend that range to zone 6. Even so, these plants will suffer in severe winter weather with the type of extreme temperature fluctuations we experience. Further, they do not tolerate hot, humid summers well. They are better suited to the Pacific Northwest of the US.
You can improve the prospects of this plant in the New York area by planting it in a sheltered location (to protect from the cold and winds as well as extreme heat) but without a lot of plant density surrounding (to allow air flow and reduce humidity).
Ilex aquifolium and its cultivars are dioecious, that is to say that plants are male or female and a male pollinator plant is needed for females to bear fruit (berries). Frequently, however, commercially available hollies have grafted female or male branches to produce fruit from a single plant. You will need to ask your nursery if this is the case with the plant you are buying.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information
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