Blue Princess Holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘Blue Princess’)
Blue Princess Holly
A beautiful member of the wildly popular Blue Holly series, the Blue Princess (Ilex x meservae) is a gorgeous, glossy broadleaf evergreen shrub with many commendable attributes! But most importantly, who can forget the berries…They are showy and will persist into the winter and set the stage for your Holiday décor. Birds love the berries and will love having a dense, year-round shelter to roost in and berries to snack on!
Blue Princess Holly will produce tiny white flowers to herald in the spring and while you may not see them, many hungry bees and butterflies will seek them out. These are not showy but are essential to berry production!
The purple stems and glossy blue-green leaves are just different enough from the usual summer greens that they will easily catch your eye year-round. You’ll love the bright, formal look of this upright, proven plant. Blue Princess is hardy in both cold and hot climates and features superior color. Unless you live in the coldest, or driest parts of the United States, this evergreen Holly can be a mainstay in your landscape!
Blue Princess is a female plant that produces knockout red berries as long as there is a male pollinator, such as Blue Prince, nearby (within 30 feet). Pretty even without her Prince, the dense, blue-green foliage and classic, wide-toothed, spine-edged leaves stay evergreen for you all year round! Hardy throughout USDA growing zones 5 to 9, these have few if any pest or disease issues.
The Blue Princess Holly is a cross of Ilex aquifolium and Ilex rugosa, one of the many of the Blue Hollies introduced by Mrs. F. Leighton Meserve. The goal with these crosses was to produce a traditional hybrid Holly that would be hardy for the colder climates!
These broadleaved evergreens are wildlife-friendly plants that can give you a fantastic sense of privacy. Plant a few of them at an angle from your house to shield your deck or patio from unwanted views. Or line them along a side yard to help muffle noise and increase privacy. Create lovely formal walls of an outdoor room with bright, shiny leaves all year long. Blue Princess is the canvas, and seasonal containers can be the “paint”.
Place a pair of them as sentries on either side of a special garden feature, such as a wall-hung fountain. These formal plants play their role beautifully, and they really make a huge visual impact on a snowy day! Everything you plant in front of these shrubs becomes enhanced – so use these Holly bushes as hedges, backdrops and foundation plantings, either trimmed formally or allowed to grow informally.
This is a plant that truly shines in winter! The foliage will maintain its vibrant color throughout the winter, a striking contrast to drab grays and browns, plus the added benefit of those glossy red fruits. Adding a male pollinator will give you an abundant crop of delightfully cheery, round red berries each fall.
Bring cuttings inside as winter decorations. A gathered “bough” looks wonderful hung over doorways or as cuttings for your outdoor containers. Try your hand at pinning small sections of cuttings into place around a floral foam wreath. (Pro tip – wear gloves when you handle them.) We can sense a new Holiday tradition for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy!
Plant Blue Prince in a well-drained soil location in full sun or partial shade. Water new plants regularly but mature and established plants only need a bit of supplemental moisture during drought. Holly are relatively easy to grow, with no significant disease or pest issues. All plants appreciate regular fertilizer and a 3-4 inch layer of arborist mulch over the soil surface.
In areas of high pH, alkaline soil – fertilize with Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural All Purpose Fertilizer in early spring and mid-summer to help reduce soil pH. You can choose to prune them, or site them at the corner of your house and allow them to reach their full mature height and spread. The goal is to keep the shrub growing in a nice, open shape. Adding air circulation and light to the interior of your shrub will allow leaves to grow all the way along each branch.
A light pruning during the winter to harvest holiday décor can be used to selectively control size. When pruning, it’s best not to simply shear the tips off with hedge pruners. Instead, conduct Renewal Pruning every few years to eliminate the oldest less vigorous stems and encourage new healthy growth from the base allowing the plants to keep their natural form and fruiting best.
Glossy Holly leaves are exquisite landscape foliage shrubs. You’ll love the way it shines in winter for you.
|Blue Princess Holly
|Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess'
|8 - 12 ft.
|6 - 8 ft.
|Full Sun, Partial Shade