Plant of the Week: Castle Keep® Blue Holly

A rounded Castle Keep Blue Holly in a trial field

Deck Your Landscape with Castle Keep® Blue Holly

I can’t think of a shrub better suited for the holidays than blue holly. The handsome evergreen foliage and the cheery red berries that dot the female varieties in winter give blue hollies that classic holiday holly look.

The Castle® series of blue holly is a great choice if you are looking to achieve this winter look or if you’re looking to take some cuttings for a holiday arrangement. Today, I want to tell you about Castle Keep®

Close up of the red berries on Castle Keep Blue Holly

Castle Keep® blue holly has that classic holiday look, but its dark evergreen foliage is soft to the touch. It’s a female variety, so it will develop red berries when a male pollinator like Castle Wall® is planted within 50’. Why 50’? It’s because that’s the distance you can reasonably count on a pollinating insect flying during foraging trips. One male plant will pollinate up to seven female plants. 

This stunning shrub has a semi-dwarf habit at 3-5’ tall and 3-4’ wide, making it a great choice for many landscapes. If you’re looking for something bigger, try Castle Spire® blue holly, which takes a pyramidal shape and stands 6-10’ tall and 3-4’ wide. 

Like the other Castle® blue hollies, Castle Keep® is suited for USDA zones 5-7 and will grow in full sun or part sun. Castle Keep® blooms on old wood, so if any pruning is needed, it’s best to do so after flowering but keep in mind that if berries are desired, avoid pruning female varieties as it removes any developing fruit. 

Happy holly-days! I will be back next week with another fabulous shrub!

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