The Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta) is a species of the genus Ilex in the plant family Aquifoliaceae, native to eastern China and Korea. It is a large, evergreen shrub with lustrous dark green, often spiny, blocky to oval-shaped leaves, 2 to 3 inches long and about 10 feet high. The fruits are red berries that are larger than those of the European Holly (Ilex aquifolium). Chinese holly is also called horned holly.
Several cultivars and hybrids have been introduced by the horticultural trade, including ‘Burfordii’ (compact and free-fruiting), ‘Dazzler’ (large fruits), ‘Dwarf Burfordii’ (particularly compact), and ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ (a hybrid with I. aquifolium, very free-fruiting).
Dwarf Burfordii Holly (Dwarf Burford Holly)
Dwarf Burford Holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii Compacta’), just as its name suggests, is a dwarf version of the Burford Holly, which is another very popular and widely used landscape holly. While the regular Burford grows quite large, often reaching 10 to 25 feet, Dwarf Burford has a much compact form, reaching only between 6 to 8 feet in mature form, making it an obvious choice for smaller situations. It blends in well almost any place where there’s a sunny area and makes an outstanding low hedge, accent or foundation planting. The bright red berries usually appear when the plant is well-established.
- A compact variety of Chinese holly
- 6 to 8 feet in height.
In the Garden
Hollies are grown for their leaves, which are often spiny and glossy, and their colorful berries, which often attract birds. Their flowers are small and rather inconspicuous.
Grow hollies in a woodland garden, as specimens, as hedges, or in rock gardens, depending on the species.
- Glossy green leaves.
- Extremely heat and drought tolerant.
- Showy bright red berries.
- Attracts bees and birds.
Caring & Growing
Chinese holly will grow in full sun to partial shade in USDA hardiness zones 7-9.
Does well in full sun or part shade.
Adaptive to many soil types, from light sand to light clay.
For better growth, amend the soil by adding topsoil or organic peat humus to the hole during planting. Organic composted can also be used to enrich the soil around the root ball.
Chinese hollys are drought tolerant and have very limited water needs.
After planting, water frequently to keep the soil evenly moist until it starts to grow vigorously on its own. Decrease the watering amount and frequency as soon as the plant become established, allowing the ground to dry out. Chinese hollys can usually survive on rainwater alone after it starts growing on its own.
Fertilize 3 times a year – spring, summer and fall- wth a quality granular fertilizer.
Misc. Maintenance Tips