Holly ‘Dragon Lady’
- Common name: Holly ‘Dragon Lady’
- Botanical name: Ilex x aquipernyi ‘Meschick’
- What it is: A narrow, upright evergreen holly with dark blue-green leaves and pea-sized red berries in fall and winter when pollinated by a male holly such as ‘Blue Prince’ or ‘Blue Stallion.’
- Size: Grows about 15 feet tall and 5 feet wide in 10-12 years, but can be kept shorter or skinnier with an annual early-spring pruning.
- Where to use: Makes an ideal evergreen specimen for house corners. Also useful for softening tall, windowless foundation walls; for flanking doorways, arbors or other entrances, and for hedging. Grows best in full sun to part shade. Just avoid soggy areas.
- Care: Likes acidy and well drained soils, so peat moss and/or compost with a little sulfur at planting time helps. Fertilize at winter’s end with an acidifying organic fertilizer such as Holly Tone or Holly Care. Prune, if needed, in March before new growth begins. Also can be lightly sheared or snipped for neatness through mid-summer. Option for windy areas: Spray leaves in late fall and again in mid-winter with an anti-desiccant such as Wilt Pruf or Safer No Wilt Plant Shield to prevent leaves from browning around the edges.
- Great partner: Most any bright golden perennial flower looks good in front of it, including daylilies, coreopsis, gaillardia and black-eyed susans.