Steeds Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata ‘Steeds’)

Steeds Japanese Holly

Hard-working Steeds Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata ‘Steeds’) gives your landscape an elegant charm. Rely on it for an attractive, steadfast color all year long. Professional landscape designers include evergreens and broad-leaved evergreens as the “bones” of their design. They understand how important their dense, green branches become in winter.

With dark green, shiny foliage Steeds is a particularly helpful variety. It grows without fuss or muss into an upright pyramid. Enjoy the flat, rounded and richly hued leaves of this stunning broad-leaved evergreen. It lends an air of bravado to your landscape all year long, without asking for much in return.

You might decide to wait until after the small white blooms of spring have come and gone to prune Steeds. They are a nectar-rich resource to feed critical beneficial pollinators in your neighborhood. Any blooms left will naturally develop into pretty, blue-black berries in fall for the birds to feast uponas long as a male Ilex crenata pollinator species is planted nearby.

Steeds Japanese Holly is a handsome shrub and a sophisticated stand-out. It is also cold-hardy, heat tolerant, and resistant to pests and diseases. No wonder designers love to include them in their plant lists!

Planting and Application:

Prune it into a formal hedge, or use it as a natural landscape accent. Use these architectural plants as a formal hedge along your property line or driveway. You can keep them as short as you’d like, or let them grow out to their full height and glory. Create a solid hedge by planting them three and a half feet apart. You’ll measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

This is a densely branched foundational plant that makes a terrifically subtle impression. Enjoy their glossy, rounded leaves all year, as well. Try a shorter row of them behind your patio seating, or create “living walls” around an outdoor dining table. One can become a magnificent winter feature. Plant at the corner of your house to anchor the foundation planting.

Try one near your garage and allow it to grow to its full height and spread. You’ll ease the moment of transition to the sideyard in an elegant way. You can also boost the look of all your sunny planting beds. Repeat the use of Steeds on the north side of shorter perennials to provide them with a lovely backdrop.

  • Lustrous Broad-Leaved Evergreen & Rounded, Not Prickly
  • Tiny White Flowers in Spring for Butterflies & Honey Bees
  • Ornamental Blue-Black Berries for Birdss With a Male Pollinator Nearby
  • Fine-Textured Upright Pyramidal Growth Habit
  • Wonderful Winter Interest
  • Can Be Grown in Urban Areas
  • Beautiful Structure Plant & Superb Privacy Hedge

Tips for Care:

Plant them in full sun for best results. They’ll give you high performance with at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. Give them a medium amount of water on a regular schedule. This is crucial in times of extended drought. Applying a three-inch layer of wood mulch over the root systems will help keep the soil cool and moist. The key to success is full sun, and acidic, well-drained soil that is mulched. Mound additional soil to 18 – 24 above grade and add a landscape edge. Keep raised beds watered well.

Prune to control size or to shape your plants in early spring. Prune the top as a single layer, and ensure the pyramidal sides remain angled. The widest portion should always be at the bottom, so it receives enough sunlight.

  • Full Sun
  • Regular Moisture & Well-Drained Soil
  • Easily Takes Shearing & Pruning
  • Cold Hardy & Heat Tolerant
  • Versatile & Easy-Care

Fruit set for Steeds will need a native male species plant nearby, or in the neighbor’s yards, or consider planting one of these male cultivars of Ilex crenata if you want the dark fruit to set. With or without fruit, Steeds is an excellent broadleaved evergreen with small, shiny, ovate leaves that are certainly captivating!

Steeds Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata ‘Steeds’) Details

Common name Steeds Japanese Holly
Botanical name Ilex crenata 'Steeds'
Plant type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 6 - 8 ft.
Width 5 - 6 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time Early Spring
Flower color White