61207It is about time that someone reintroduced this technique! Blue Princess holly is now available together in the same pot as its male pollinator, Blue Prince holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘Blue Princess’ and ‘Blue Prince’). With careful pruning to prevent one from crowding out the other, both can coexist and provide profuse, bright red berries every winter, indefinitely. As the plants grow, their main trunks will eventually graft together.

Blue Princess holly is purported to be the shrubbier of the two. Blue Prince might be a bit more compact, and might grow a bit slower. Both eventually get about seven feet tall and nearly as broad, with remarkably glossy evergreen foliage. Their rather wavy leaves have sharply pointed teeth. Fortunately, their teeth are not quite as sharp as those of traditional English holly, which happens to be one of their mutual parents.

If possible, it might be helpful to identify the two cultivars of holly in a mixed planting, and label them so that neither one nor the other gets pruned out. Blue Prince will be the plant that produces no berries. Of course, with selective pruning ‘Blue Prince’ can be confined and subordinated to the showier ‘Blue Princess’. Individual ‘Blue Princess’ holly plants are better for hedges, with separate ‘Blue Prince’ plants nearby.

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6 thoughts on “Blue Princess and Blue Prince Holly

    1. You know, I do not know how big they ‘can’ get. I have not seen them get past first floor eaves. They are more dense that English holly. (English holly get dense when pruned, but initially grows as a tree.) I know that the label describes their maximum size. I like them because they can be kept as low hedges only about four to six feet high. The one at my mother’s garden gets about seven feet high because it is allowed to grow wild and open for nice long stems.

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      1. Yes. She enjoys decorating for Christmas, and many of her traditions are from the East. Holly is not all that Californian, although we do have toyon, which is also known as California holly, which Hollywood(land) is named for.

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