China Girl Holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘Mesog’)

China Girl Holly

  • Beautiful Ornamental Evergreen
  • Classic Decorative Bright Red Holly Berries
  • One China Boy® Pollinates 3-5 China Girls®
  • Glossy Kelly Green Foliage All Year-Long
  • Small White Blooms Support Beneficial Pollinators
  • Birds Love Hollies for Food and Shelter
  • Great Privacy Hedge
  • Cold Hardy & Heat Tolerant

There is nothing so elegant as a Blue Holly, with its distinctive waxy and serrated leaves that feature instantly recognizable spines along the toothed margins. With chartreuse stems and incredibly shiny, kelly-green foliage, these make a very sophisticated choice!

Of course, you’ll likely want to see the classic red Holly berries in late fall. Plant the best berry producer in the series because the berry-laden China Girl® Holly (Ilex X meserveae ‘Mesog’) is an incredible sight.

These broadleaved evergreens feature a dense, upright rounded growth habit. They’ll take well to pruning into a formally shaped hedge that local songbirds enjoy for shelter.

Tiny white flowers in springtime support the nectar needs of honey bees and other important pollinators. If pollinated, the flowers will transition into round green fruit that ripens to a carmine red.

This high contrast display between the showy red berry and blue-green foliage is outstanding against winter white snow and a standout in the drab dormant season. China Girl® easily becomes the star of your Winter Garden.

Love the Holidays? Grow your own winter decorations with several China Girl® shrubs and a China Boy® partner. One Ilex China Boy® Holly will pollinate up to 9 or 10 China Girl® Holly plants to make fruit.

Cold hardy and heat tolerant, people across the country have loved China Girl® since it’s introduction by Mrs. Leighton Meserve of New York. China Girl’s® mid-tone green foliage has a high gloss finish that shines in the sunlight. This is an easy broadleaved evergreen to live with.

How to Use China Girl® Holly in the Landscape

The erect form and size make them a great choice for hedges, and to run between houses. You’ll appreciate the densely held foliage and red berries in fall. And you’ll adore the extra privacy screening! This wonderful selection is perfect for privacy screens and for use as landscape structure plants.

But don’t put China Girl® in a corner. She can also make a wonderful specimen planting at the corner of your house. Gain year-round color and style with one used as an anchor in your foundation planting at the corner of your house.

Run a row of China Girl® along the north side of your garden borders as a wonderful backdrop. Tuck in a China Boy® nearby!

Need a strategic barrier plant to shield your property? The spiny leaves offer great protection!

Want to save money on fencing? Use a staggered double row of China Girl® and China Boy® Hollies to grow into a magnificent living fence! Plant them 3 feet apart on center for a dense hedge. You’ll measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

If you prefer a more informal look, simply expand the space between them to 5 feet. Allow them to grow in their full, natural style.

Tips for Care

Plant one male Meserve Holly among 3-5 female China Girl Holly plants for excellent pollination and fruit display. Male plants can be planted up to 300 feet away but the best pollination will be within 50 feet or so. China Girl® Blue Hollies do best in moist, well-drained soil. However, you can plant them in either full sun or partial shade. Ensure they receive at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day!

Plan on creating a regular watering schedule to support the needs of your plants or setting up drip irrigation. Plus, adding a 3 – 4 inch layer of wood mulch over the root systems will help keep the soil cool and moist.

For landscapes that have poorly drained soil, create raised planting beds by mounding up additional soil to 18 – 24 above grade. Keep raised beds watered well, as they are prone to drying out faster.

To gather berried branches for winter decoration, trim crossing branches first. Trim branches that head into the interior of the shrub. Finally, remove some of the older thicker stems down into the body of the plant to thin and allow younger stems to remain.

Prune to control size or to shape your plants after the flowers have faded. For the most attractive results, do not use electric trimmers. It’s worth the time to hand prune these beautiful plants.

You’ll love the striking, bright green evergreen color all year long. Add the pollinator China Boy®, and you’ll have plenty of red berries in fall and winter.

China Girl Holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘Mesog’) Details

Common name China Girl Holly
Botanical name Ilex x meserveae 'Mesog'
Plant type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 8 - 10 ft.
Width 6 - 8 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well-Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time After Flowering
Flower color White