Ilex Crenata Caroline Upright is native to East Asia is commonly known as Holly Japanese Caroline Upright or Box Leaved Holly. It does not have the typical prickly leaf that we expect from a holly plant and is a true alternative to Box hedging, avoiding the risk of suffering from box blight. It is a smaller type of Holly hedge, with glossy dark green small leaves and a distinctive upright and bushy habit of growth making it perfect to use for a neat dense dwarf hedge but is versatile enough that it can be grown into a hedge up to 1.5m.
Holly Japanese is a slow growing evergreen that produces small delicate white flowers in late May to June followed by small black fruits in autumn but like all hollies this fruit will only be produced by the females. The compact nature of this hardy evergreen means it is perfect for topiary therefore being a popular plant with Bonsai enthusiasts. It can be trained and pruned into many shapes including Ball and Cone shapes or even Cloud pruning which is a Japanese method of training trees called ‘Niwaki’.
Ilex crenata Caroline Upright can be used to make a hedge, create parterres, be planted in beds or as borders. It is excellent to add architectural interest to any garden or patio and will grow on all well drained soils or in pots. It grows approximately 12-20cm per year and should be pruned in summer. When pruned, it will produce fresh growth from old wood so if hard pruning is needed and areas of bare stem are cut into, new growth will occur.
We recently supplied this variety to the Love Your Garden Team – both instant hedging and topiary ball plants were use to create the build.
Japanese Holly hedging is sold by us potted in varying sizes so can be bought at any time of year subject to availability. Please do call us if you have any further questions and we will do our best to help you.