For a fast evergreen solution in your warm climate landscape, you really can't go wrong with the Nellie Stevens Holly (Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens'). Growing up to three feet a year, this fast-growing evergreen is naturally dense and grows into a large pyramidal shape with little or no pruning.
It thrives in hardiness Zones 6 - 9, and performs beautifully in both coastal exposure, hot humid and hot dry climates. Our customers tell us it's the fastest growing Holly they have ever seen!
The leaves are a beautiful, glossy dark green color all year long. In springtime, white flowers are hidden under the dense canopy and inconspicuous. But you'll definitely notice the crimson berries in fall. They contrast so beautifully against the dark green leaves.
Nellie Stevens Holly makes a stunning fall and winter display. Best of all, this abundant berry display is possible without the need of an additional pollinating variety. (Although when planted with the beautiful Burford Dwarf holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordi) close by, even greater volumes of berries are possible.)
Get started on your privacy screen. Order this magnificent home garden selection today!
This fast grower is an ideal choice for privacy screens and hedges. Let it grow naturally into a lovely pyramid or get out the trimmers to shape it into a tall, formal box hedge.
Train into a single trunk specimen for a delightfully ornamental evergreen tree by simply removing the lowest branches from the main trunk. Nellie Stephens makes an amazing small accent tree for a private corner of your yard. Try one at a corner of your foundation planting for effortless good looks.
Or, go for a portable screen by using them in large containers. Nellie Stevens Holly makes a perfect patio container tree. Imagine the Christmas display!
After all, the fall and winter interest is one of the main reasons for growing Holly trees. Decorate your containers with holiday lights or cut branches to decorate your home during the holidays.
The bright berries bring cheery holiday spirit to your landscape. And bird-lovers can rejoice, as they watch as local songbirds dig in and enjoy the berries as the winter sets in.
Plant the Nellie Stevens Holly five feet apart (measuring from trunk to trunk) to achieve complete privacy with a living wall or use it as an accent to create texture and color in your yard.
The Nellie Stevens Holly is as durable as it is beautiful. Landscapers love this selection for its fast growth and hardiness. Plant it in well-drained soil for best results. Give them pine bark mulch over the root system.
These tough plants can withstand poor soil, as long as the drainage is good. They'll survive through a moderate drought. Once established, they can even tolerate neglect. It also can grow in more shade than any other Holly variety (although it will do best in full sun!)
They prefer a slightly acidic soil, so feed with an acid fertilizer like Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural Premium Fertilizer twice a year. In high pH soils, you'll feed them once in late winter and again in midsummer. This is especially important for container-grown trees to maintain the plant's luster.
Nellie Stevens can be pruned aggressively to most any shape or form. Best time for punning is early spring.
And what about the name of this plant? Well, story has it that an avid gardener named Nellie R. Stevens swiped a few berries on her visit to the U.S. Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C. and planted them at her home. While we never recommend planting strange plant material in your yard, in this case, it turned out to be a happy event for Mrs. Stevens.
With its shiny, dark, leathery evergreen leaves, an almost perfect pyramidal form and wonderful full-sized red berries that persist into Christmas, Nellie Stevens' Holly was a perfect fit for the home garden. Eventually, the American Holly Society determined that indeed, everything about this variety was unique, and in time it was confirmed that Nellie's Holly was in fact a new species.
It was determined that this new variety is a Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta) crossed with an English holly (Ilex aquifolium). Thank you, Mrs. Nellie R. Stevens!
Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.
Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!
Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.
|Young Plants to 18 Months|
|2"x2"x3"||Ranges from||.18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume|
|4.5" Container||Equal to||.65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume|
|Sprinter Pot||Equal to||.63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume|
|4" Container||Ranges from||.31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume|
|6" Container||Equal to||1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume|
|1 Quart||Equal to||1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume|
|5.5" Container||Equal to||1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x5"||Ranges from||.8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x6"||Ranges from||1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x9"||Ranges from||1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x10"||Ranges from||1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old|
|2 Quart||Equal to||2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume|
|#1 Container||Ranges from||2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume|
|5"x5"x12"||Equal to||3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 2 - 4 Years Old|
|#2 Container||Ranges from||1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume|
|#3 Container||Ranges from||2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 3 - 5 Years Old|
|#5 Container||Ranges from||2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume|
|#7 Container||Ranges from||5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume|
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|Botanical Name||Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens'|
|Mature Height||15 - 25 feet|
|Mature Spread||8 - 12 feet|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun, Partial Shade|