Holly Shrubs

Holly Shrubs for Sale Online

Holly Bushes have been popular evergreen shrubs in the American landscape for hundreds of years. Hollies can be used as a specimen, foundation planting, in containers to frame a doorway, or as an accent on a deck or patio. Holly shrubs are an excellent screening plant, and the evergreen varieties make a perfect colorful privacy hedge.

Holly Bushes are beautiful plants with thick, dark green foliage that lasts year-round. On top of this luscious color, holly Bushes grow berries in the fall and winter, adding a pop of color to gardens during the winter months. These evergreen shrubs offer interest over multiple seasons. The best thing about holly bushes is there is a holly for about every growing zone in America.

Types of Holly Bushes

There are many types of holly bushes available to gardeners. There are the traditional holly plants that have sharp, spiny, dark green leaves. Small-leaved hollies or Japanese holly plants are evergreen but do not produce the red berries we are accustomed to seeing.

Winterberry Holly Bushes: Winterberry hollies are well known as holiday decorations but not well known as landscape plants. Winterberry Holly or Ilex verticillata are Native to North America and can often grow in the thickets and woodlands across the east coast.

Winterberry hollies are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves. This is actually what makes them ornamental. The leaves turn a gorgeous warm-yellow in the fall before falling off and exposing the plump red berries in bunches covering the bare branches. Male plants are required for berry production and care will need to be taken to choose a male that blooms at the same time as your female plant. .

Inkberry Hollies: Inkberry Hollies are typically not grown for their berries but rather their dark-green evergreen foliage. Inkberries do not have the spiny leaves that are typical of the evergreen hollies we're so accustomed to seeing. Inkberry holly or Ilex glabra are also native to the United States, and the berries are not ornamental but are favorites of non-migratory songbirds in the north.

The white flowers produced by Inkberries are a favorite of pollinators such as butterflies and honeybees. There are many varieties of Ilex glabra to choose from, and while all look similar, there are many heights to choose from. They range from 3 feet tall up to 8 to 10 feet. 

Japanese Holly Bushes: The Japanese hollies are a large group of hollies with a range of heights from 2 feet to 10 feet. There are also many shapes of plants in this family, and these can be conical in form like Steeds holly, or upright and columnar as in the case of the Sky Pencil Holly. Smaller varieties like the helleri holly typically remain in a ball shape even without pruning.

Japanese Hollies have small evergreen leaves and are very similar to boxwoods. Not known for their berries which are not ornamentally significant. These evergreen shrubs are best used as hedges and can be trimmed into formal hedges or left unpruned in their natural form.

Blue Hollies: Blue Hollies are the hollies that most people are used to seeing. The dark bluish-green leaves are evergreen and highlight the red berries. This group is seen mainly as being used as a colorful hedge or as foundation plantings. Blue hollies are hybrid crosses of English Hollies.

Note: nearly all members of the holly family are toxic to people and pets. Do not let your pets or little ones eat the berries or leaves, even if you see local flora and fauna enjoying them.

The main attraction to this family of plants is the berries. Keeping one thing in mind is necessary if you want your hollies to produce those plump red berries. Holly bushes are male and female, and it is essential to note that you will need both types if you want berries. One example of this is the blue Princess Holly which will only produce berries in the presence of the Blue Prince Holly.


Since there are so many fabulous types of holly bushes, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the options. The best place to start is to consider your needs. Will the Holly be a specimen shrub to draw the eye to a particular part of the garden? Do you want something with a lower profile to build a low hedge around your patio? Or, are you looking for a tall, evergreen privacy hedge? Let's consider the options.

Low Growing Evergreen Holly Bushes

Soft Touch Holly: A dense, compact, mounding shrub with dark green foliage that is soft to the touch. Perfect as a low evergreen hedge reaching only three feet tall.

Brass Buckle Holly: One of the smallest and most colorful Japanese hollies available. Brass Buckle Holly shines all year long because of its glossy, clear yellow, burn-resistant foliage. It's ideally suited to edge walks and borders, as a container plant in milder climates or a striking rock garden accent.

Helleri Holly: Helleri Holly is a low mounding evergreen shrub with small, boxwood-like leaves. It responds very well to shearing, making it an excellent selection for a low hedge or tight rounded shrub that hugs the ground.

Mid-sized Evergreen Holly Shrubs:

Compact Japanese Holly: Compact Japanese Holly is an evergreen shrub with small, rounded leaves. It responds very well to shearing, making it an excellent selection for a mid-sized formal hedge.

Ilex Glabra Densa Inkberry Holly: This is a selection of our native Inkberry Holly that has a broad upright habit and retains its foliage at the base of the plant. This Holly tolerates heat, full sun through the partial shade and grows exceptionally well in urban areas. Small White flowers give way to jet black inkberries in late spring, which matures in early fall and persists through the winter.

Ilex Glabra Shamrock Holly: Ilex Glabra Shamrock was selected for its compact habit and shimmering green early spring foliage. The foliage matures to dark green in summer. Tolerant of wet soil.

Tall Evergreen Holly Bushes

Sky Pencil Holly: The Sky Pencil Holly is a narrow, columnar evergreen holly perfect for small areas. Dark green foliage stays neat year-round. Perfect evergreen for use as a vertical accent, entryways, or privacy screening.

Steeds Holly: Steeds Holly is an easy to grow, densely branched evergreen shrub with a natural pyramidal form. Lustrous dark green foliage adds color to the landscape year-round. Perfect when used to frame a front entryway.

Broad-leaved Evergreen Holly Bushes

Blue Princess Holly: This is the holly bush that everyone knows and loves. While it can grow to 8 feet tall if left untrimmed, most gardeners keep the beautiful Holly trimmed into a formal hedge. Be sure to plant a Blue Prince Holly nearby for the largest berry crop.

Burford Holly: Possibly the most underplanted member of the holly family. It stays smaller than the blue hollies making it more useful as a hedge. Burford will produce berries without a male present.

Winterberry Holly Bushes

Winter Red Winterberry Holly: Winter Red Winterberry was selected for its iconic red berries that decorate your view in the winter. They'll grow up to 8 feet or more in height and just as wide. Perfect for naturally filling in gaps in a landscape or planting along the edge of the woods.

Sparkleberry Holly: Only reaching 5 to 6 feet high, this is a lovely choice for smaller yards. The Sparkleberry Holly sports tons of clusters of red berries late into the winter months.

Southern Gentleman Holly: Southern Gentleman is a male pollinator for deciduous winterberry varieties. These are hardy and make a good match for both Winter Red and Sparkleberry.

Why Plant Holly Shrubs?

Reliably hardy and versatile, evergreen holly shrubs are one of the few plants grown in all 50 states. Hollies offer a lot of bang for your buck in the landscape. Evergreen holly shrubs are the workhorse of the garden because they are extremely low maintenance and will thrive in full sun to shade. Their ability to survive and thrive in poor soils makes them practical for problem areas where it might be challenging to get other things to grow.

Evergreen Hollies are generally deer, pest, and disease resistant. They don't require supplemental watering once established; this makes it a beneficial shrub in areas prone to spells of drought. Birds and other wildlife enjoy feasting on the winter berries, and they are perfect during the holidays when you can cut them and bring them indoors for a long-lasting holiday display.

Even the Deciduous varieties of holly shrubs can make great additions to your yard. Winterberry holly shrubs will lose their leaves in the winter, but the plants will sport their bright red berries on their stems. This is a great way to create visual interest in your garden in the winter and provide winter snacks for local birds.

Choose an area with full to partial sun (6 hours or more of direct exposure) and well-draining, slightly acidic soil. This brings out the darkest color in the foliage and is best for producing berries. Since there are so many different kinds of holly shrubs from around the world, it's essential to check to see if a particular type of Holly will grow in your grow zone. Most will do just fine in grow zones 5 through 9. Also, check the product page to see how much space your Holly will need.

As American's number one online nursery, we make sure that garden lovers everywhere can easily order our carefully inspected plants online with the click of a button. We ship our plants and trees across the country, meaning you can stock up on as many as you need to fill your landscape with color and fragrance. Shop our selection of Woodie's approved Holly shrubs online today! When you need Holly Shrubs, check out the many varieties available through Garden Goods Direct.

If holly trees are for your landscaping project, you'll find many Holly evergreen trees such as American Holly or Nellie Stevens Holly in our Holly Tree Collection.