Growth Facts

Blue Maid® Holly
Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Maid'
Beauty meets utility in this hardworking hedging or foundation plant.
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This fantastic Accent will work hard to make your landscape look ship-shape! Blue Maid®Holly is an excellent plant for bringing structure and order to your outdoor living spaces, and it will look sharp while doing so. You can easily shape it into a handsome hedge that will define boundaries, block sight lines, dress up your foundation, or create a pleasing backdrop for flowers and smaller Accents. Glossy, deep blue-green leaves present a polished appearance all year long, and attractive red berries make the perfect accompaniment to the fine foliage in fall and winter. Highly recommended.

Growth Facts

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The Story

The story of the Blue Maid® 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 Maid® in the 1950s; it was patented in 1979. Today it’s one of the most popular Hollies in the country.

The Details

Blue Maid® Holly is very similar to the closely related Blue Princess® Holly, an equally valuable Accent for the garden. Blue Maid differs by having flatter, shinier leaves than Blue Princess.

How to Grow

Blue Maid® 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 Maid® needs a male Holly nearby at flowering time in order to produce berries. Blue Prince® or China Boy will do the trick. Plant about one male for every five females.

Size Guide

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