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Holly Golden King — 67 Comments

  1. Thank you for the info on the sex of hollies and how to get berries, it was all new to me, but now I will get a silver queen.?

  2. Hello Lisa, This is a good time to trim back Holly. Just take a pair of secateurs and get stuck in. You can prune quite hard back which should help rejuvenate the plant Not so happy regarding the sparse leaves though..

  3. Please help taken years to get holly going do not know variety at the moment it is 6 ft with varigated leaves and red rims to leaves. How do I trim as it’s growing tall and sparse

  4. I bought a golden king for the centre of an 18 ft flowerbed to give it some height. But I am worried it may get very bushy and take over. Can it be pruned to keep it fairly compact? Does male variety need to be fairly close to pollinate female?

  5. Hi Larry, I haven’t a clue how this happened. I have had at least a couple of posts since the Holly, the latest being my take on the Aucuba.

  6. There you go Alistair… now you’re starting to look like Wisconsin! We’re getting another seven inches today and possibly the same on Monday again… With the foot in the yard and lots of deep drifts, the plants will be snug for sometime to come!
    I wish we could grow more hollies here although I am having some luck with the Meserve plants. I was looking at the date of this post… so odd as I’m just now receiving it over a month later than posted!

  7. And my first question was, what’s the witch hazel called, tha Ks for replying above. Gorgeous hollies, if a tad confusing in their naming. Must remember these, they really do brighten up a spot don’t they, wouldn’t have known about the drainage, so glad you said.

    The snow looks great, I was gong to moan we had none, but last week we got a share which has all but gone. I’m seeg daffies peeking up here, sure sign of great things to come.

    Lovely post alistair….

  8. Hi Alistair, those are some beautiful-looking hollies. We just have a small plain form that’s growing through a larger shrub (it was probably planted by a bird). I like variegated forms but am wary that they might revert or grow weakly. There are instances where the flowers produced by variegated plants look better on the original coloured foliage. Hosta breeding has turned variegation into an art form.

  9. Oh, that’s kind of mean to mix those Kings and Queens! I actually prefer the Silver Queen with his more white variegation. Very pretty!

    And your landscape is absolutely breathtaking with the snow!

  10. Beautiful snow pictures, I can only dream of my garden looking like that… I love variegated foliage and your holly shrubs look great. Funny about the names :), I recently bought musk strawberry plants and am now trying to figure out which are female, male or hermaphrodite :).

  11. I have never seen a variegated plant I did not love. I don’t have any English hollies, but I would love these two, despite their confused sexual identities! Your snowy landscape photos are gorgeous. We actually had a brief snowfall here last week. Sadly, I was at work and missed it!

  12. Alistair I have been thinking of you and Myra every time the weather says the worst is in the north east, the snow photos do look lovely, your hollies are beautiful,
    keep warm, Frances

  13. Hi Alistair! Honestly I’ve always been pretty messed up about sex and I am so glad to find out that those holly-growers were too!
    Your garden covered in snow looks beautiful, the central tree on the second picture is amazing!
    No signs of snow around here, I guess winter is over now.

  14. I can enjoy the pleasure of your holly ,2winters ago our 20+ holly split and died .

    So I no longer have but have replaced with many foliage shrubs .

    And our garden like many others is under a rather large blanket of snow.

  15. I do love your garden, Alistair! It looks beautiful any time of the year! The winter pictures are awesome!
    I didn’t plant any holly plants in my garden, but I have several baby plants which came from…. I guess, neighbours.

  16. So kings are female and produce berries, queens are male and sire berries. Females are prickly. Got it!

  17. Alistair – great profile on these plants. You managed to ‘hightlight’ two plants on my wish list in this blog. Golden King and a Witch Hazel. Now I’ve seen Silver Queen, I’m in a quandry. Berries I’m not too fussy on as there are plenty on JC Van Tol!
    Super pictures of your ‘winter wonderland’ up there!

  18. The Hamamelis looks great with a topping of snow! I love holly – it is such a workhorse in the garden, yet so beautiful. Good luck with the weather – we have had snow for nearly a week in Norfolk and some of our evergreen shrubs look worryingly stressed.

  19. I love variegated foliage plants and I like to put them up against different coloured foliage such as silver or pink. Your hollies are looking fabulous.

  20. The daffodils in the pot look like a cake with candles on it! 🙂 As for hollies, I love them, although I don’t have a lot of different varieties. They all seem to be tough and will forgive a lot of mistakes. Love that in a plant!

  21. Hi Rosie, the Hamamelis which we have is Arnolds Promise, it may flower a little earlier, I am not sure. Although the stems are smothered with blooms its not as advanced as the close up may suggest. The flowers are tiny and will develop a lot larger in the next few weeks.

  22. I’ve one holly – kindly introduced to the garden by a bird! Male or female I haven’t a clue though I suspect it’s a female as there are plenty of the bushes growing wild nearby with berries each year……..let’s hope there’s a male close to my garden too!

    I’m surprised to see your Pallida out in flower already – mine has just got 3 little ribbons showing.

  23. Hi Donna, I mistakenly get the idea that at this time of year it is always colder in your part of the world. Blogging is an education for me.

  24. Alistair your garden wears its winter coat quite well and how lovely your pictures…you actually have more snow and are colder than we are but that will change tomorrow again and we are headed for snow and frigid cold…the variegated hollies are beautiful and how funny their names!

  25. It’s all a bit confusing, in a funny sort of way! Best to plant a king with a queen then when it comes to variegated Holly, at least you know one is definitely a male and one female so you’ll get the berries. And those Hollies looks like they light up their own spot. You garden looks lovely even with snow 🙂

  26. I love your snowy photos Alistair, they demonstrate what great structure your garden has as well as being beautiful in their own right. As one of those not keen on variegation, you will no doubt be amused to hear that I have inherited a “Silver Queen” holly, although it is currently a sad fat trunk, cut to 5′, with half a dozen sprays of leaf to demonstrate what it is. I am hoping that a neater prune will enable it to recover, since hollies have been known to live for over a hundred years, regularly hard pruned.

  27. Great info, Alistair! I don’t have a holly anymore, since I had my huge holly tree taken down just before Christmas. I don’t miss it (yet), I am still picking holly leaves and probably will do so for years to come…I love variagated leaves though, didn’t know anyone could not like that 🙂

    We got our first snow yesterday, didn’t amount to much but created the usual chaos!
    Take care, Helene.

  28. I think everything looks better with snow on it. From a sample of blogs, I think the mid-Atlantic US is the only place in the northern parts of the world without snow right now. I bought 3 Nellie Stevens hollies plus the appropriate male. No berries for 15 years. This year I noticed a few berries on all four plants—that’s the problem!!!

  29. Linnie, snow is nice to look at for a short time, doesn’t usually last long here, fingers crossed. Whatever the reason it certainly is confusing. I do like the all green Holly bushes especially smothered with berries.

  30. Nice snow Alistair! I’m jealous since we’ve had none at all so far this winter. Do you think the gender chaos regarding holly nomenclature is some kind of conspiracy to confuse? I love holly for the winter holidays, and for that use I think the prickly kind is perfect. I have an old huge one– not variegated queen or king just all green. Suppose it could be pruned as well?

  31. We also have hollies here but the small-leafed species. I also love variegated plants. Your photos show you are still very cold, we are also having the coolest temps now courtesy of the melting China-Siberian snow. and our coldest is maybe your hottest temps in a year! haha.

  32. Hello Alistair
    Thanks for the information about the hollies. I had a few once but they did not last. As you say, it could have been drainage problems. I love them though, they are beautiful.
    BTW – I really like variegated foliage.
    The photos of snow in your garden are terrific! Very interesting with the colour just showing in certain areas.

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