Ilex – Castle Spire® – Blue Holly – Ilex x meserveae

Garden Height
72 - 120
48 - 60
36 - 48
Container Role
Flower Size
Flower Colors
Light Level
Part Sun to Sun, Sun
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Attracts: Birds

Dead-Heading Not Necessary

Fall Interest

Winter Interest

Maintenance Notes

Castle Spire® holly is a female variety; a male variety, like Castle Wall®, must be planted nearby in order for fruit to form. One male will pollinate up to 5 females. Plant within 50'/15.25m of each other to ensure pollination.

It's best to avoid pruning female hollies, as cutting them back at any time of the year will result in diminished flowers and subsequent fruit. Light trimming or removal of dead wood can be done in early spring. 

Holly prefers acidic soils with average moisture and appreciates a good layer of mulch. If desired, apply a granular fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs in early spring.


Uses Notes

Great as a foundation plant, specimen or hedge, can be used as a replacement for pyramidal yews. Good in groupings and mass plantings, perennial and shrub borders, can be used as a screen or hedge. An outstanding plant for the winter landscape.

Maintenance Category Easy

Water Category Average

Blooms On Old Wood

Bloom Time

Flower Form Cut Flower, Landscape, Specimen or Focal Point

pH B - pH 5.8 - 6.2

EC (2:1 Extraction Method) 0.6 - 0.9

Fertilization 150 - 300

Light Requirements Medium, High

Water Requirements Dry to Moderate

Rooting Out Temperature 65 - 72° Fahrenheit

Growing On Temperature 60 - 65° Fahrenheit

Holding Temperature 40 - 50° Fahrenheit

Pinching and Growth Regulators
Light prune when plant puts our new growth. Light pruning versus shearing will allow multiple prunes in one season without shutting down the plant.

Pest and Disease Management
Scale if grown in the field

Grower Tips
The Castle Ilex are new varieties of blue holly compact, pyramidal forms. Their dark glossy leaves, superior vigor and branching make them an improvement over other older varieties. Prune to shape immediately after flowering. Likes high moisture, native to swampy and boggy areas. Adaptable to wet soils, does well in light and heavy soils. Fertilize in early spring by applying a slow release fertilizer specialized for trees and shrubs. Follow the label for recommended rates of application. Protect from winter wind and sun in cold (Zone 5) climates. Must be planted near a pollinator like Castle Wall in order to produce berries. Protect from harsh winter winds and sun.

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