Everyone is familiar with holly, the plant with shiny leaves and red berries that you use to deck the halls at Christmas. But what is a possumhaw holly? It is a kind of deciduous holly native to North America. Keep reading for more possumhaw holly information. We’ll give you some tips about how to grow possumhaw hollies and possumhaw holly care.
What is a Possumhaw Holly?
Generally, holly (Ilex) species are evergreen, holding onto their shiny green leaves all year. Possumhaw holly (Ilex decidua), however, is a type of holly that loses its leaves every winter.
Possumhaw holly can grow to a tree some 20 feet (6 m.) high, but it often is grown as a shorter, clumping shrub. As a shrub or small tree, possumhaws can be useful and ornamental. These small holly trees generally produce a number of thin trunks or stems. They grow in thick clumps that can serve as a screen or hedge.
When you are thinking about growing deciduous holly, make sure most of your plants are females. Although they are not very showy in summer, female holly plants are exceptional in fall and winter.
Additionally, when you are growing deciduous holly, you’ll find that all of the leaves fall in autumn. It is after that point that the holly’s beautiful berries are clearly visible. They hold their red, orange, or yellow fruit well into the winter unless they are eaten by wild birds.
How to Grow Possumhaw Holly
It isn’t difficult to grow possumhaw holly. The plant thrives in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9a. This includes both coasts and the southern half of the nation.
Possumhaw holly care starts when you plant the holly tree. Position it in full sun or partial shade. If you want a taller plant, choose a shady site, but full sun gives you better and more abundant fruit.
When you are growing deciduous holly, possumhaw holly care is easier if you plant the tree in well-drained, moist soil. It will be fine in either acidic or alkaline soil and can adapt to a wide range of soil conditions. These hollies work well as plants in wet areas.