How and when to water
The type and frequency of irrigation required for your holly plant changes based on certain climatic characteristics and the plant itself. The newly planted plant needs constant and abundant irrigation which will be reduced when the plant has taken root. After this phase, the watering methods will change considerably, especially in consideration of the fact that the holly grows in the best way even with the contribution of rainwater. For this reason, if it is planted on the ground it will be sufficient to water it every two to three weeks with a couple of buckets of water (preferably rainy and heated in the sun), in order to wet the soil thoroughly. In the hottest periods, however, it will be advisable to treat the irrigation more carefully, to avoid both too prolonged drought and stagnation. If the plant grows in pots, it should be watered about twice a week, without using an excessive amount of water.
Cultivation and care
The holly plant can be grown both in the garden and in a large pot. Contrary to what is thought, the splendid berries typical of this plant are produced only by the female specimens, pollinated by the male specimens that are nearby, with the help of insects. Planting should be carried out between the end of winter and the beginning of spring and can be done in two ways: by sowing the seeds of the berries picked in an immediately preceding period, or by transplanting the cuttings collected in summer and put to root . Holly prefers clayey soils to acidic ones, with calcareous components. For this reason, it is preferable to use a soil to which a mixture of peat and sand has been added.
Also for what concerns the fertilization, the holly needs different treatments depending on the season and, therefore, on the specific climatic conditions. The holly plant blooms from late summer to late autumn, and it is this circumstance that marks the times and ways in which to use the different fertilizers. At the moment of implantation, to favor the rooting, a mature manure can be used. Afterwards, the plant will be fertilized from spring to the end of the autumn period, with an interval of 30-40 days. In the first phase, which precedes flowering, it will be useful to use a fertilizer based on potassium and nitrogen, which help the plant to thrive. In the second phase, however, the holly will have to be helped to face the winter in the best way, through the use of a slow-release granular fertilizer, specific for green plants.
Holly: Pathologies and remedies
Holly is a very resistant plant, which grows both in the sun and in the shade and tolerates winter frosts as well as summer heat, thanks to its excellent resilience. Despite being endowed with many qualities, holly is not immune to diseases and the attack of various types of insects and parasites. First of all, excessive stagnation of liquids can lead to root rot and consequent death of the plant. The main enemies he has to face, however, are two: rust and cochineal. The first is a parasite that causes the plant to wilt and can be fought with a specific antifungal. The second, on the other hand, attacks both the branches and the leaves and is defeated thanks to the use of antibiotics. Furthermore, the youngest shoots also suffer attacks from aphids and other parasites.