16 Types Of Holly Bushes: Perfect VIBRANT Greenery

BY Shaafay Zia
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Are you looking for VIBRANT greenery to improve your landscape and home garden? Well, here you have different TYPES of Holly Bushes.

Is your KNOWLEDGE not enough to select the right Holly Bushes for your GARDEN? Brace yourself; here COMES your savior, AsterGardening.

Our experienced HORTICULTURISTS and senior AUDITORIAL staff are passionate about knowledge sharing. We have a wide range of topics on shrubs to help your plan well!

Here is the DEAL! Read till the end to learn about different types of Holly Trees and their growing requirements.

Types Of Holly Bushes

16 Different Types of Holly Shrubs

I am not going to STARVE you of your knowledge LESSONS. Get your dose of various Holly shrubs:

1. Blue Holly (Ilex x meserveae)

Blue Holly

Are you curious about the Blue Holly tree? It is a hybrid type of holly bush. It’s a CROSS between English ivy and Tsuru holly.

It is unique among other species in this article. The leaves of these plants are evergreen and contain showy flowers. It goes with the botanical name ilex x meserveae.

I preferred growing them in acidic and WELL-DRAINED soil to get the best result; you can also try it out. The leaves are DARK blue-green, so you call them blue Holly.

Need a reference for their appearance? Their glossy leaves grow 3 inches LONG with SPINY and dark blue color.

2. Catberry (Ilex mucronata)


Catberry is one of the BEST types of holly varieties, and they are native to Europe and North America. They have a specific botanical name; Nemopanthus mucronatus.

You must provide them with part shade, and the leaf’s COLORS are green.

They are a part of the Ilex genus. It is better to grow them in moist places. They have bright red berries known as peduncles. 

You can find them growing in SWAMPS and edges of POND streams. However, you can grow them in ornamental gardens for landscaping.

3. Carolina Holly (Ilex ambigua)

Carolina Holly

Here is another evergreen Holly species commonly known as Sandy Holly. You will have to provide SANDY soil for proper growth. 

This dense plant grows well in South Eastern and South Central US. When you provide optimum conditions in zone 7-9, they can GROW to 20 feet.

Want to know how to grow them in your home garden? Give them proper care and part SHADE for making them HAPPY and HEALTHY.

I planted it in early summer and witnessed beautiful red fruits in the fall. These fruits FALL off easily, so the plant doesn’t look good during winter.

4. Dahoon Holly (Ilex cassine)

Dahoon Holly

The Dahoon holly tree, also known as cassena, grows well in wetter places. Do you know what makes them happy? Swampy places with wet soil.

There are three VARIETIES of this holly plant. Ilex cassine, var. cassine, I. cassine.

Dahoon Holly grows best in the USDA zones ranging from 5-10. This Mexico-native plant can grow up to 40 feet tall (perfect for hedging).

I provided them with FULL sun to slight shade. It proved to be their best GROWING condition.

Unlike other holly plants, Dahoon is built differently. You can throw them in shade or moderate soil and still get the best growth.

5. English Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

English Holly

How can I miss including English Holly in this list? This Christmas favorite plant is one of the most popular types among all holly species.

There are DIFFERENT types of common names for this plant. Despite being widely known as English Holly, it is famous in Europe and Common Holly.

What I find intriguing about this plant is its adaption to diverse climates. Although it is native to Asia and some parts of Africa and Europe, USDA 7-9 is best for its growth.

This holly plant grows to the maximum SIZE of 15 to 50 feet. It needs full to part shade for the perfect growth.

The leaves of English holly have a deep, dark, and emerald green color. You might also find some other variegated VARIETIES other than them.

6. Chinese Holly (Ilex cornuta)

Chinese Holly

The evergreen shrubs list is ever-expanding but only complete with Chinese Holly. It is perfect for Xerophytic areas due to its spiny edge leaves.

The leaf shape is unique resembling HORNS. It is the reason why they are popular by the name HORNED HOLLY. These small shrubs are native to China and Korea.

They grow best in USDA zones ranging from 7 to 9. I found this Holly bush quite INTERESTING. The HONRY leaves reference always makes me laugh!

Growing a Chinese Holly tree is not rocket science. You must provide FULL to part shade and see them reaching 25 feet height in no time.

7. Longstalked Holly (Ilex pedunculosa)

Longstalked Holly

Have you heard of the long-stalked Holly? Do you know why they are called LONG-STALKED Holly? Their fruit (peduncle) is attached to a long stalk.

If you want colorful Holly bushes for your home garden in FALL and WINTER, try them. They tolerate excessive SALTS and POLLUTION, making them ideal for URBAN areas.

Long-stalked Holly is native to China and Japan. They grow in USDA zones ranging from 5 to 8. The maximum height of growth ranges from 10 to 30 feet.

Growing a successful batch of these red Holly berries is a piece of cake. Surprisingly, they can survive both FULL SUN and Partial shade.

8. Hedgehog Holly (Ilex aquifolium ‘Ferox Argentea’)

Hedgehog Holly

The Hedgehog holly is a perfectly distinctive, large, and upright tree. Its famous quality is that it is EVERGREEN and grows 10m tall.

The upper SURFACES of this plant are short, SHARP spines that cover the entire leaf. Leaves are unique in appearance, with a dark green spiny shape.

I grew them during spring, and I noticed white flowers appearing during the spring. The male plant of hedgehog holly is a suitable POLLINATOR for the female cultivars.

Hedgehog is native to Europe and needs FULL SUN and partial shade. You are lucky if you are living in USDA 6-9 as they are perfect for its growth. 

9. American Holly (Ilex opaca)

American Holly

The Amercian Holly is DRUPES bearing evergreen bush. It is famous for several reasons, but its use in FESTIVE decorations is the most common.

The tree is upright and has a pyramidal habit. Here comes the fact bomb; they have separate male and female plants. Guess what? Only female plants bear berries.

You will notice their growth and bloom during SPRING. The ripening period is perfectly aligned with Christmas. The bright red berries shine in the fall.

They are hardy in USDA zones ranging from 5 to 9. They need full sun to partial shade to grow completely. The size of the plant RANGES from 15 to 30 feet tall. 

10. Finetooth Holly (Ilex serrata)

Finetooth Holly

Chinese Holly is not the only plant that can survive drought and cold on this list. Finetooth is a famous deciduous Holly plant known for surviving in extreme conditions.

Never heard about these Finetooth plants? You might have heard about the Japanese Winterberry (another name for these deciduous trees). 

These small SHRUBS are native to China and Japan. You can grow them easily in USDA growing zones ranging from 5 to 8.

They grow out to the maximum size of 6 to 15 feet. It is necessary to provide them with full sun to part shade for PERFECT growth.

An interesting fact about these bushes is their crossing nature. Cross them with Winterberry, and here you have wonderful Sparkleberry. 

They have smaller fruit and SEMI-EVERGREEN plants. 

11. Hawaiian Holly (Ilex anomala)

Hawaiian Holly

Hawaiian Holly is endemic to the ISLANDS of Hawaii. They bear purple-black fruits.

These holly trees are native to Hawaii. They grow best in the HARDY zones ranging from 11 to 12.

They grow out to the height of 30 feet to 40 feet. But to grow that vigorous, ensure providing them FULL SUN to PARTIAL SHADE.

I first tried to grow them in full sun, but the result could have been better. The next thing I did was to provide full to PARTIAL sun. It resulted in the perfect growth of the plant.

A little effort is needed to raise them, and you can get white flowers. These flowers look amazing with their light green CENTERS.

12. Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata)

Japanese Holly

The Japanese Holly belongs to the Aquifoliaceae family (known for their black fruits). Botanically known as ilex crenata, they are also famous for BOX-LEAVES Holly.

Although native to Korea, China, and Japan, they are invasive to the US. You can grow them in hardy zones 5 to 8. 

You will have to provide full sun to partial shade for the PERFECT growth of the plant. Once maturing, they can reach up to 10 feet in height.

Thinking about what is the ideal setting for planting them? Japanese Holly is perfect for LOW HEDGE or BORDER in Gardens.

13. Small-Leaved Holly (Ilex canariensis)

Small-Leaved Holly

Their name indicates small-leaved Holly as having small leaves. They are present in LIMITED areas, and you can only find them in some places.

You can find these holly shrubs near the North African coast. They usually grow in different types of FORESTS known as laurel forests.

I found these bushes dense, rigid, and COMPACT, with a small tree and rounded habit. They are the perfect addition to your garden with their 4-PETALED FLOWER.

They are hardy in USDA zones 11 to 12. The maximum HEIGHT is more than 32 feet. Environment impacts their growth, especially from FULL sun to Partial shade.

14. Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra)

Inkberry Holly

Inkberry is a dense growing wetland plant that bears prominent black fruits. Unlike other Holly bushes, their leaves are spine free.

It is important to PRUNE away the extra parts, including the suckers. I tried to ignore pruning for some time, making the plant invasive.

They are native to the EASTERN and south-central US. The maximum height of this plant is 4 to 8 feet. They grow out best in the USDA zones ranging from 5 to 9.

What’s unique about these bushes is their adaptability. It can grow in wetlands, well-drained soils, and low-lying areas.

15. Round Leaf Holly (Ilex rotunda)

Round Leaf Holly

Round Leaf Holly is another low-maintenance spineless Holly Bush. They are the one species that tended to grow after the HIROSHIMA bombing in 1945.

Most Japanese named it Hibakujumoku in the name of some SURVIVORS of the bombing. There are other names, too, like Kurogane Holly for this plant.

This plant is native to Asia and has different areas of origin. Commonly, Japan, Vietnam, and China are famous for their origin.

They grow better in the USDA zone ranging from 9 to 11. Their maximum height is more than 40 feet. They need full to part sun to grow properly. 

16. Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)

Yaupon Holly

Well, Well, my friend! Let me end this impressive list with Yaupon Holly. This plant can TOLERATE salts like a fish in the ocean. 

Not alone in salt tolerance, the drought-resistant is also remarkable. This bush is NATIVE to the southeastern United States.

You can grow it perfectly in the hardy zones 7 to 9. They grow to a maximum HEIGHT ranging from 4 to 30 feet. Full sun to partial shade makes them grow crazy.

The drink made with its berries made the Native American VOMIT. That’s why they are also known as ilex vomitoria. 

FAQs about Types Of Holly Bushes

1. What is the best time to trim holly bushes?

The ideal time to trim holly trees is during spring. If you want the best outcome and reduce their stress, waiting till the end of winter or early spring is better. This season provides ideal growth and makes them stand out.

2. How do you winterize holly bushes?

Proper care is the best way to winterize holly berries. It is best to water them properly in late fall and early winter. Ensure mulching properly around the base of the holly bush. It makes them hardy in the winter months.

3. Does holly like full sun or shade?

There are different varieties of holly bushes. All of them need different growing conditions to grow well. Some varieties prefer full sun, and some prefer shade. Some types can tolerate both, making them suitable for diverse climate types.

4. Which holly does not have berries?

There are different types of holly plants. Each of them is either male or female. The male holly plants never produce berries. The scientific term for male bushes is dioecious. When you select a male plant, it will take part in setting the fruit and pollen but not making the fruit.

What’s Next

Hey BUDD! Let’s have a QUICK wrap-up!

You don’t have to climb Mount Everest to grow lovely holly species in your garden. It doesn’t take blood and sweat to grow these LOVELY plants.

You have gone through various varieties of holly varieties. Feel free to test these, as each has its own CHARACTERS and GROWING requirements.

You can see multiple straight trunks and glossy green FOLIAGE. And, of course, beautiful berries. They are most visible during Christmas (so, why not try these at home). 

Don’t you THINK that your garden deserves more love and care? It can be CHALLENGING if you don’t scale up your GARDEN game.

AsterGardening is the perfect place to keep yourself updated about TRENDY topics. Visit our website for more GREEN content and give your garden the LOVE it deserves. 

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Shaafay Zia

Hi, I'm a fellow green thumb who moonlight's as a writer. Gardening is something that brings me peace and I have been in the sport for many years now. With all of our expertise, we will always bring you the best content which will make you love your garden, even more.