Trade Nursery. Min. Order Value £1000 + VAT. Free Delivery Over £3000 + VAT*
Grown in Herefordshire
Speak to Us About A Trade Account
Availability List

Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Aquifoliaceae family

Code: Ilex
  • £2.35 (ex. VAT)
Item in Stock   |   Delivery within a few days

Key Features

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is

- Suitable as a hedge plant, woodland tree, hedgerow tree or woodland shrub

- Native

- Evergreen

- Thorny

- Safe to plant near livestock (non-toxic) but not advised for horse paddocks (see blog)

Buy with confidence - read our customer reviews.

The specifications shown below are our normal range but we often have additional options.  If there is something that you are looking for, it's often worth contacting us.

Please Email Us or call 01989552028 if you would prefer to order on the phone or have any questions or to discuss a discount for larger quantities.



British Grown
Minimum Order Value £1000 +VAT
Free delivery over £3,000+VAT*
Trade terms available for orders over £5,000+VAT
Planting Essentials
Bagging Options
Product Options Height Age Root Type Specification 1+ 100+ 500+ Quantity Qty
Holly (Ilex aquifolium) Height: 30-40cm Age: 2 yr Root Type: Pot grown Specification: 9cm pot (P9) Holly (Ilex aquifolium) 1+ £2.70 (ex. VAT) 100+ £2.50 (ex. VAT) 500+ £2.35 (ex. VAT) Please Purchase in Multiples of: 10
30-40cm 2 yr Pot grown 9cm pot (P9) £2.70 (ex. VAT) £2.50 (ex. VAT) £2.35 (ex. VAT)
Holly (Ilex aquifolium) Height: 15-30cm Age: 2 yr Root Type: Cell grown Specification: cell grown Holly (Ilex aquifolium) 1+ £3.40 (ex. VAT) 100+ £3.20 (ex. VAT) 500+ £3.00 (ex. VAT) Please Purchase in Multiples of: 12
15-30cm 2 yr Cell grown cell grown £3.40 (ex. VAT) £3.20 (ex. VAT) £3.00 (ex. VAT)
Total: £0.00 (ex. VAT)

Our range of Holly plants (Ilex aquifolium)

We have two specifications of Holly plants, both very popular.

The cell grown option are grown by one of the UK's specialist growers and these plants have small compact roots so are ideal for gapping up hedgerows, new hedgerow creation or forestry/woodland planting.   We can arrange to have these delivered directly to you or they can come to us and be consolidated with other plants on your order.

The P9 plants are grown in pots a bit bigger than a small yogurt pot so the roots are slightly bigger but still are very easy to plant with the notch planting method.  We deliver these with our own bare root plants so all will come out to you together.

We do not grow bare root holly - it can be done but germination in open fields is very poor and we find it doesn't make very good plants so we'd rather not grow it ourselves or offer it to our customers.

You can read more information about plant specifications on the tab just below the product table - to the right of this product description.

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) Summary

One of the very few native evergreen hedging plants and a great addition to a mixed native hedgerow or oak, beech or mixed woodland to provide some very dense, prickly winter habitat for wildlife.  Unfortunately the very spiky nature of the leaves makes it difficult for hedge layers to cope with. For berrying, it is important to have several holly plants (or be close enough to other holly trees or shrubs) because there are male and female plants and pollination of the female plants is needed to produce berries.

Holly does not do well as a field grown (bare root) plant.  It is very difficult to germinate and needs controlled growing conditions (ie indoor) so we grow our own holly plants in an unheated glasshouse in 9cm pots (P9's).

Soil and Situation

A great attribute of Holly is that it will grow well in shade and hence is suitable as a woodland shrub as well as a hedging plant.  Any well drained soil is suitable with a preference for neutral, moist soil.  It does reasonably well at the coast.

Leaves, flowers and fruit

Holly leaves are small, very prickly, dark green and glossy.  New growth is particularly prickly but has adapted so that leaves are only prickly where they are within reach of browsing animals (although they can be used as cattle fodder in harsh winters) so those at the top of the hedge or tree are generally quite smooth edged.  Although evergreen, that does not mean that leaves do not fall off (just that it happens very gradually and there are always plenty of green leaves on the plant) and holly leaf litter is a very good nesting site for hedgehogs and small mammals.  Although suitable for cattle to eat, we do not recommend for horses.

Flowers are small, white, inconspicuous but after insect pollination develop into the bright red berries with which we are all familiar, and which can stay on the plant for many weeks.  Mistle thrushes are particularly fond of holly berries but they are an excellent food source for a wide range of birds.

Holly is a single sex plant so male and female plants must be grown reasonably close together to obtain the berries and if berried foliage is required for the Christmas trade, trees should be netted in autumn to prevent bird damage.

The bark is smooth and matures from dark green to grey green.

The wood is very hard, white in colour and fine grained so it is good for turning and inlaying.

Eventual Height & Growth rate

Mature trees can grow up to 15 metres in height, although Holly can easily be kept to hedgerow height. Holly is quite slow growing but can form quite large trees.




This section gives definitions on the specifications of plants that we sell.  We are specialists in field grown (or bare root) plants which are grown in two ways.  The majority are grown from seed, some are ready within one growing season (seedlings or 1+0's) and some species require two growing seasons (1u1's).  In addition to growing from seed we also grow from small plants or cuttings (transplants) which are much more widely spaced (taking more land, more irrigation water, fertilisers and labour).  There are only a handful of bare root wholesale nurseries in the UK and of those even fewer grow transplants but Ray Jenkins has many years' experience of transplanting so we grow these in large volumes.  Ray has written this blog about the benefits of bare root plants and how they are grown and another blog which gives further detail on bare root specifications.

The detailed specifications are shown below.  If you are in doubt about what specification to use please email us on with a description of the project (and photos if appropriate) and we will advise you.

1+0 - field grown in one season from seed, known as a seedling (sometimes called a whip), generally a slender single stem plant.   These are the cheapest specification and are particularly suitable for planting where weed competition will be less intense, soil is shallow or on exposed windy sites.  Gives a high root to shoot ratio and minimal plant "check".

2+0 - a 2 year seedling, field grown from seed in the same seed bed in two growing seasons where the species cannot be grown to a saleable plant from seed in one season

1U1 - 2 year old plant called an undercut, field grown for two seasons in the same seed bed and undercut by machine (a sharp blade cutting the roots under the soil level) after the first year to develop the root structure. We do this with several species which take 2 years to develop (eg oak, beech, hornbeam)

1+1 - 2 year old plant (transplant) grown from seed in the first year and then transplanted into a different area of the field and spaced out for the second growing season - a robust plant with a larger and more robust root system than seedling or undercut plant which will enable it to better withstand drought and weed competition. Often the best choice and the staple norm for farm hedging and this specification is a requirement of the Countryside Stewardship Grant

1+2- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two growing seasons giving a tall, stocky, bushy plant

2+1- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further growing season, giving a strong bushy plant

3+1 - as above but field grown for a further growing season for more height and a very bushy plant

1+3- 4 year old, one year field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for three years, giving a very strong, bushy plant

2+2- 4 year old, two years field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two years - a very mature plant suited to certain species like beech and hornbeam where we can offer almost instant hedging

and some that are a bit different.....

P9 - a plant grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel in a 9cm pot (for holly which germinates poorly in the field)

Cell grown - a plant grown in small deep cells (like a small yogurt pot) and then lifted out of those for transportation. Commonly used in forestry and large hedging projects.  Very high quality plants with excellent success rate.  See our blog on the benefits of cell grown plants.

C+1 or C+2 - a 3 or 4 year old plant initally started as hardwood cuttings grown on for a year as cell grown plants and then lined out in fields to grow on for a further 1 or 2 years (a technique used for Cherry Laurel)

0/1 - a hardwood cutting, then field grown for one season (for example for white willow, black poplar and osier)