Need Privacy Planting Quick?
Nellie Stevens Holly (Ilex) is a fast-growing, dense evergreen shrub that can grow up to 3 feet per year. Sporting a natural pyramidal shape, you won’t have to break out your pruning shears to maintain its naturally dense habit.
In spring, tiny green-white flowers begin to bloom but are not the highlight of this shrub. In the winter, bright red berries appear in the fall and persist throughout the winter.
Spacing Your Nellie R. Stevens Holly
Nellie Stevens As a Privacy Hedge
As a living wall, Nellie Stevens shines bright. Its dense habit and quick growth rate make it ideal to not only block out eyesores but also suppress sound. Space this holly 5-6 feet apart to create a dense habit that will shield your yard for years to come!
Nellie Stevens On the Corner of Your House
Use Nellie Stevens to bookend your house and add a lush evergreen element that won’t dull in color and produces loads of berries in the winter that provide a wonderful seasonal look. As an accent, you can always rely on a tidy shape and a dense habit to build a foundation around your landscape.
Caring for Your Holly
Nellie Stevens Hollies prefer part sun to part shade, preferably early morning to midday sun and not the harsher sun of early afternoon. Compared to other hollies and evergreens, Nellie Stevens does better in shade than full sun. They work well under existing canopies and will grow with the same speed in full shade.
If planting Nellie Stevens in drier regions of the country, you’ll need to regularly water your plant in the first year or 2 as it establishes. This ilex requires moderate watering but is capable of surviving mild droughts once it’s established. If droughts or long spells of heat are common in your area, consider adding an irrigation system for your hedge to ensure it gets the water it needs.
How to Plant Your Holly
- First, dig a hole three times the width of the root ball of your plant. This makes it easier for the root system to spread out quickly.
- Dig the hole deep enough that your plant will sit level with or slightly above the ground around it.
- Mix your native soil with rich, slightly acidic gardening soil or pine bark amendment to provide extra nutrients and support plant growth.
- If your soil is clay-heavy, we recommend mixing your native clay soil with equal parts of Pine Bark mulch to improve drainage and the overall breathability of your soil.
- Put the plant in the hole and backfill around it with the soil mixture.
- Top the soil beneath your plant with 3-4 inches of mulch to help it retain moisture.
- Soak the plant with a hose afterward to hydrate the plant, as well as get the soil and mulch situated.