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Love is in the air! Blue Prince Holly makes the perfect Finishing Touch for the landscape with its glossy, deep blue-green leaves on purple stems. Its evergreen foliage is a sight for sore eyes in the cold, dark days of winter. But handsome foliage is only part of its appeal. Blue Prince is primarily valued as a pollinator for female Hollies, like Blue Princess, Blue Maid, Blue Girl, and China Girl. With the help of bees, this robust guy will give the ladies lots of shiny red berries. Plant one Blue Prince for every five female Hollies for best fruit set.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
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The story of the Blue Prince Holly is a remarkable one. It began on Long Island, where an amateur gardener named Kathleen Meserve lived. Meserve had a special fondness for Hollies, but most of the Hollies available to gardeners in her day weren’t dependably cold-hardy. They were English Hollies, adapted to the mild climate of that country, not the icy winters of New York. Most gardeners would have simply given up on Hollies, but Meserve had another idea. She learned how to breed them and hybridized her own cold-hardy new varieties! She bred Blue Prince in the 1950s; it was introduced in 1972. Today it’s one of the most popular male Hollies in the country.
Mix one or two Blue Prince Hollies in with your Blue Princess or other female Hollies to make sure your ladies get plenty of glossy red berries. These Hollies make outstanding privacy screens with their evergreen foliage that blocks prying eyes all year-round. You can also plant them along your foundation to give color and structure to your entryway garden. These Finishing Touches get large in mild climates, but they respond well to pruning and can be maintained at any size you wish.
How to Grow
Blue Prince Holly is tougher than many other Hollies, but it does prefer a moderate climate. It performs best with protection from icy winter winds; at the other extreme, it struggles in the Deep South because of the intense heat there. Give it part shade or full sun, but avoid baking-hot southern and western exposures. Apply water regularly if no rain falls, making sure the soil doesn’t remain soggy. Blue Prince will not produce any berries, but it will pollinate many types of female Hollies, ensuring that a generous crop is produced.
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