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Castle Spire® Meserve Holly

One of the hardiest of the evergreen hollies, this is a narrowly upright shrub with spiny blue-green foliage and showy red berries in winter; requires a male pollinator, often paired with Castle Wall

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
10 feet
Average Landscape Width:
5 feet
Growth Rate:
slow
Genus:
Ilex
Species:
x meserveae
Cultivar:
Hachfee
Summer Foliage Color:
dark green
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
moist
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Plant Form:
columnar
Canopy:
closed
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Pollution Tolerance:
medium
Other Species Names:
Blue Holly
Branching:
multi-stemmed
Evergreen:
1
Density:
dense

Ornamental Features

Castle Spire® Meserve Holly is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from mid fall to late winter. It has dark green evergreen foliage. The spiny oval leaves remain dark green throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Castle Spire® Meserve Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Castle Spire® Meserve Holly will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a female variety of the species which requires a male selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. You may want to keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Castle Spire® Meserve Holly makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

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