Variegated English Holly
Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata'
Variegated English Holly foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 20 feet
Spread: 12 feet
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Other Names: Silver-margined Holly
This stunning cultivar is valued for its beautiful red berries which last throughout winter; attractive, glossy green foliage with striking silvery-white edges make this shrub really stand out; it requires moist to wet highly acidic soil
Variegated English Holly is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries in mid fall. It has attractive dark green foliage edged in silver. The spiny oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.
Variegated English Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen tree 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 tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds and bees to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Variegated English Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
Planting & Growing
Variegated English Holly will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more. This variety requires a different selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.
This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.