Growth Facts

Honey Maid® Holly
Ilex x meserveae 'Honey Maid'
Variegated evergreen leaves, bright red berries—what more could you ask?
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Blue Maid® 2.0! Honey Maid Holly is an exciting, modern rendition of a cherished evergreen Accent. Blue Maid® Holly—a sensational, all-season foundation and hedging plant—gets a doseof vivid variegation in this sleek new version. Each lustrous, deep blue-green leaf is generously bordered in creamy yellow to create a dazzling display. Glossy red berries in fall and winter make the eye-grabbing plant even more striking. Honey Maid Holly will bring instant curb appeal to your foundation beds, entryway garden, or mixed borders. Give it a high-visibility spot, where it will shine every day of the year.

Growth Facts

The Story

The story of this group of Hollies 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. 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. Honey Maid originated as a chance sport (mutation) of Blue Maid Holly in 1990 at a Pennsylvania nursery. Every Honey Maid in existence has come from that single lucky branch!

The Details

Honey Maid Holly stays a bit smaller than Blue Maid® Holly. Use it as a colorful component in a low hedge, or plant a single specimen as a mid-border highlight.

How to Grow

Honey 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, avoiding baking-hot southern and western exposures. Apply water regularly if no rain falls, making sure the soil doesn’t remain soggy. Honey 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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