Re: holly bushe for zone 5

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Posted by Newt on July 30, 2003 at 18:59:22:

In Reply to: Re: holly bushe for zone 5 posted by Virginia on July 27, 2003 at 14:43:26:

: : : Can anyone recommend a hollybush that can live in a large pot that would be placed outside in front of a house facing east, in Zone 5 that needs watering only once a week? Is there a particular holly bush that can survive these conditions? Thank you.

: I tried this with a different shrub. I purchased dwarf Alberta Spruce to put in pots and decorate with lights for christmas on our front porch. My husband said they needed insulation and used a layers of thin flexible styrofom perferated sheets that are used to protect items from breakage in packing. He used large decorative molded plastic pots considerably larger than the plants came in. He wraped the material around the original pot and then placed it in the decrotive one. He also put a heay layer of cedar mulch on top of the potted pant to fill the area to the top of the larger decorative pot. Not only did they live but they had lots of new groth come spring and were then planted into the ground in our yard and have doubled in size in two years. We did not keep them in those pots through the summer months.
: Good Luck

: I actually foung this site looking for help with Holly bush pruning. I need to cut back some holly bush branches that are growing into the front steps of my house. When is the best time to do this and if I have missed that opportunity will it kill them to prune them now before winter. Where should I cut to keep the brances from comming back in this direction. I lost alot of brances last year because of the amount of snow that we had and the bushes are looking a little battle worn.

: Thanks in advance for any advice
: Virginia


: : Hi Kim,

: : I can't think of anything that would survive in zone 5 under those conditions. Even in the summer, it would probably require watering more than once a week.

: : You might want to take a chance and try it. Insulate the pot for the winter with lots and lots of leaves in heavy duty plastic bags and a styrofoam outer pot that you can make out of rigid insulation used on houses. You would probably need to make the styrofoam outer pot at least 12" larger than the pot the shrub is in. Ask for the hardiest hollies at your local nursery. Try and find one that is hardy to zone 4 and try just one. Also spray the shrub with an anti transpirant like Wilt Pruf for the winter. You might need to water the shrub on warmer days in the winter.

: : Good luck,
: : Newt


Hi Virginia,
The best time to prune hollies is in late winter. With that said, it sounds like you need to do it now. Better now then in late fall when a warm spell could cause a growth spurt and then a frost could kill the new growth. Here's some sites about pruning. Generally evergreen hollies don't need pruning. If you are going to selectively prune, and want the new growth to go in a certain direction, prune to a leaf or node that is in the direction you want the new growth to go.

http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/envirohort/factsheets2/shrubs/feb88pr2.html
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/knowhow/yardandgarden/article/0,16417,333020,00.html
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/BODY_MG087
http://www.ces.uga.edu/pubcd/B961-W.HTML#Technique

Good luck,
Newt

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