Blue Boy Meserve Holly
Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Boy'
Blue Boy Meserve Holly in winter
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 12 feet
Spread: 15 feet
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Other Names: Blue Holly
One of the hardiest evergreen hollies, this is a large, spreading shrub with the traditional spiny blue-green foliage; doesn't produce fruit, but is used to pollinate female hollies which produce the attractive berries, often paired with Blue Girl
Blue Boy Meserve Holly has dark green evergreen foliage on a plant with a round habit of growth. The spiny oval leaves remain dark green throughout the winter.
Blue Boy Meserve Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Blue Boy Meserve Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Blue Boy Meserve Holly will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This shrub does best in a location that gets morning sunlight but is shaded from the hot afternoon sun, although it will also grow in partial shade. Keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It may require supplemental watering during periods of drought or extended heat. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.
Blue Boy Meserve Holly makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.