Introducing a new take on an old classic. The Golden Oakland Holly Tree is a fantastic upright holly from the Southern Living Plant Collection. It is a variegated cousin of the Oakland Holly, giving you the same dense growing habit with the added dimension of variegated green and golden-yellow foliage.
This dense-growing holly maintains a pyramidal habit and is naturally compact, so it needs little maintenance pruning. It’s height and density make it a perfect screen plant when planted in rows, and it’s color adds more character to your landscape than traditional evergreen screens like arborvitae or cypress.
Once achieving the appropriate height, this plant is ideal as a nearly impenetrable privacy screen. Just try and make it through this heavy-duty beauty!
We love seeing this holly planted on the corner of houses as a foundation plant to bookend your landscape. It provides a large accent that pairs well with medium height green shrubs like Emerald Snow Loropetalum or it can accent bold pops of color from blooming shrubs like Encore Azaleas.
When Golden Oakland is still young, you can plant it in containers for a bright, evergreen accent that holds its shape. You can fill in around it with annuals or perennials to provide a spark of color and truly eye-catching container planting. This holly is also bright enough to stand on its own in a container.
Another added benefit of this dense growing evergreen holly is that it makes a wonderful habit for birds and other wildlife as it gets older. Because you don’t need to prune it and its leaves are so dense, it becomes a reliable shelter for the birds you love to see!
Golden Oakland Holly Care
Grows best in Full Sun to Part Shade. Furthermore, provide at least 4-5 hours of sun daily to ensure that its foliage is dense and attractive.
Plant in slightly acidic soil for best results. If your soil is too alkaline, mix in some elemental sulfur to lower its pH.
Water 2-3 times per week during the first growing season. During its second season, water 1-2 times per week depending on the weather. Afterward, it only needs supplementary water during times of extreme heat and drought.
Fertilize your tree with Holly-tone or another acidic plant fertilizer 2-3 times during the growing season, starting in early spring.
How to Plant:
- First, determine your planting location. Somewhere that provides at least 4-5 hours of sun.
- Next, dig a hole that is about three times as wide as the root ball of your plant.
- The hole should be deep enough that the top of your plant’s root ball is even with or slightly above the native ground around it.
- Mix the native soil that you removed from the hole with some good quality garden soil or composted manure.
- Fill the hole with the soil mixture.
- Layer 3-4 inches of mulch around the base of your plant to help the soil retain moisture.
- Lastly, water your new planting deeply to hydrate the plant and settle the soil/mulch.
Spacing Your Golden Oakland Holly
For a seamless planting, plant your Golden Oakland Holly 6 feet apart. Space them 9+ feet apart for gaps between the plants.
Suggested Companion Plants
The variegated foliage of the Golden Oakland makes a stunning background for many different plants. They look fantastic with some reblooming roses such as Red Double Knock Out Rose, or reblooming azaleas such as the Autumn Bonfire Encore Azalea. It also pairs well with Boxwoods, Orange Rocket Barberry, and most Gardenias.