Tips & Tricks


PLEASE NOTE! It is better to water generously twice per week, than to apply a little water daily. In this way, the soil can properly drain during watering intervals, allowing roots to get some air. Ilex is sensitive to competition from surrounding plants and it is important to ensure your Ilex is not deprived of water or nutrition. CAUTION! Overwatering for extended periods will lead to rotting and root death, eventually killing the plant completely.


Container grown plants: remove from pot and gently tease out surface roots. Immerse in a bucket of water to ensure plant is fully hydrated before planting. Root-balled plants: these can be planted entire with their hessian rootwrap, however, we recommend removal of the cloth to facilitate uninhibited spread of the roots. Ensure that the top of the root-ball is flush with the finished surface of the soil. If a dense hedge is required, it is important to arrange plants shoulder to shoulder in their planting trench.

TIP: Roots of Ilex crenata will not tolerate being paved-over. The area
immediately around each plant should be kept open and receptive to
regular water and nutrition.


Our plants are grown in clean and healthy nursery environment giving them a natural robusticity. Grown under the recommended soil, moisture and climate conditions, they are relatively untroubled by pests and diseases.

Time period

The best period for planting root balled plants is from the end of September to mid-May. Pot plants can be planted throughout the year. It is only important not to plant on frosty days.


Ilex crenata lends itself to creative pruning: whether hedge, globe, cube, cone or something more abstract. Pruning should be performed twice each year: Initially at the end of May / early June, then again later at the end of August / early September. The initial pruning can be relatively hard, cutting into mature wood to encourage regrowth and regular branching . The second pruning (end of August / early September) need be only a light tipping of young shoots. By adopting this double pruning, plants will achieve a dense and neat growth habit.
Caution! It is unwise to perform pruning on hot sunny days when there is risk of unsightly leaf scorch.


Planting holes should be made slightly larger than the root-ball, then partially re-filled with an ericaceous planting medium to encourage good initial take-off. Gradually, the roots will extend through this planting medium and acclimatise to the surrounding garden soil. A slightly acidic soil will improve the rooting of the Ilex crenata and accelerate their growing process. * There are test kits on the market that allow you to determine the PH value of the soil.


One year after planting, and every year thereafter, plants should be fed: Once in early April, and again at the end of June. Fertiliser is best spread underneath the plant where it is taken up quickly and efficiently by the roots. Fertilizer in contact with the leaves may cause scorch damage which harms the plant. We prefer to use organic slow-release fertilizers which have a prolonged effect and ensure consistent availability of nutrition
in the soil. These forms are also better for the natural biodiversity of the soil, contributing to the long-term healthy growth of the plants.

The best period for planting root-balled specimens is from end of September til the middle of May. Container- grown plants can be planted throughout the year. However, please note! It is inadvisable to plant either form on frosty days when frozen soils are not friable and will not make good contact with the rootball.

Place in the garden

Ilex crenata prefers an open aspect, but will also tolerate light, dappled shade.

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