Honey Maid Meserve Holly
Ilex x meserveae 'Honey Maid'
Ilex x meserveae 'Honey Maid' foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 15 feet
Spread: 7 feet
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Other Names: Blue Holly
One of the hardiest of the evergreen hollies, this is a large, spreading shrub with attractive spiny blue-green foliage with cream edges; showy red berries in winter; requires a male plant within 100 feet
Honey Maid Meserve Holly is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from mid fall to late winter. It has attractive creamy white-variegated dark green foliage. The spiny oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.
Honey Maid Meserve Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Honey Maid Meserve Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Honey Maid Meserve Holly will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 7 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a female variety of the species which requires a male selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.
Honey Maid Meserve Holly makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.