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Ilex species

Trees and Shrubs, Bonsai

Sow seed in early spring, after stratification; grow on well-drained, consistently moist, fertile soil. May also be sown in fall when ripe, in a protected spot; germination is erratic and can take several seasons. Sun to part shade. Note that plants are either male or female; both are required to produce fertile seed, though only the female plant produces fruits. Typically hardy zones 6-9, some deciduous species are hardy into zone 3

Use rooting hormone with softwood cuttings spring or summer, or semi-ripe cuttings fall and early winter; bottom heat may be helpful with the latter. Can also be grown by simple layering, which takes time; named cultivars may be bud-grafted onto Ilex aquifolium, English holly or common holly, rootstock

Ilex aquifolium is a good choice for exposed sites, zone 6-8. Ilex verticillata, the winterberry, does well in poorly-drained, wet and acidic soils; hardy in zones 3-9. Ilex crenata, or Japanese holly, is very useful as a bonsai species, indoors and out, as it is very shade-tolerant; zone 6-9

Oregon holly grape, holly mahonia (Mahonia aquifolium)

Root Cuttings
Cleft or Wedge Grafting
Simple Layering
Stratifying Seed
Trees and Shrubs

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