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Ilex sp.
Available in both evergreen and deciduoud species, holly is grown for its toothed glossy green leaves and its showy berries, which are red in most popular varieties, but can also be a showy yellow. Holly can range from under one foot to over 80, and is found in both temperate and tropical regions. Both male and female plants are needed for fruiting.

Lighting: Can tolerate both sun and shade, although semi-shade is preferable in midsummer. Increased light tends to produce dense foliage.
Temperature: In general, evergreen varieties are hardy to zone 7,deciduous varieties to zone 5. Most varieties will require some frost protection, and all varieties should be sheltered from strong or cold winds.
Watering: Needs a fair amount of water, especially before fruit production. Holly can be badly damaged by draught. Reduce watering in winter. Likes misting, unless it is in full sun.
Feeding: Every two weeks during growth, using half strength liquid plant food, or bonsai food.
Repotting: Every 1-2 years in early spring. Use basic bonsai soil.
Styling: Cut back new shoots to the one or two nodes closest to the trunk. Branches can be very brittle, so shaping is best done by pruning rather than wiring. If wiring must be done, it is best to wire in spring-summer, taking care to protect the bark. Leaf pruning to reduce leaf size is possible. Suitable for all sizes and styles, although the evergreen varieties do not take as well to broom style. Ilex asprella has a tendency towards horizontal growth which must be compensated for; Ilex vomitoria, on the other hand, has a strong inclination to grow upwards.
Propagation:Seed, cuttings, and air-layering are all possible for deciduous varieties. Evergren varieties are best propigated through cuttings. Germination from seed requires cold pre-treatment, and seed can take up to three years before sprouting. Cuttings taken from wood grown in the current year root more easily. Ilex vomitoria nana may be found growing in the wild and may be collected in early Spring.
Pests:Caterpillars, leaf-miners, leaf spot. The plant can also be weakened by too much fruit production, so it is wise to limit the amount of fruit on the tree.
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