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Holly – Carissa

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Product Overview

The Carissa Holly is a Hardy, Compact Holly that will reward you with year-round glossy green foliage. Great for low maintenance borders and hedges. Fairly Drought and disease resistant once established.

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The beautiful Carissa Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Carissa') is a real work horse with a neat, tidy compact size and well-behaved character. You'll be forgiven if you simply don't think about it much once it's established in your landscape. Yes, it's that easy. But let's give this plant a brief moment in the spotlight. After all, it's not often you find such a lovely plant that works quite so hard. And with it's subtle interplay of color along large, glossy leaves, it really does deserve some praise. Let Carissa Holly play an important role in your landscape by adding a ton of definition of the landscape. With attractive oval leaves featuring a crisp midrib and small terminal spine at the soft tip, this broadleaved evergreen plant may be subtle, but its bold texture will make a statement. One of the plant's best features is the tonal color variations of its large leaves as it grows. Incredibly glossy dark green foliage contrasts with deliciously pale green undersides. New growth has a hint of burgundy wine. And the edge of the leaf in pinstriped with a pale margin. As with most Hollies, the Carissa holds the lustrous foliage year-round. You'll grow to appreciate the super sturdiness of this small shrub. Landscape designers use this plant in commercial settings (for a good reason!) You'll probably wind up taking it for granted, as it does its job providing structure in your garden design. And that's a good thing! It doesn't give the significant berry show of other Hollies, but the spring blooms are attractive and fragrant which adds to the value of the Carissa. But as you decide on which plant to install, this "Ironsides" selection is well worth a serious look. This plant reminds us of a "no drama" friend who remembers your birthday and will always wants to go to the Garden Show with you. These kinds of friends are worth their weight in gold! Order your Carissa Holly today and get started on a long-term friendship with this durable shrub.

How to Use Carissa Holly in the Landscape

This is a very well-mannered plant that stays low and nicely rounded without much trimming. It looks like a soft, perfectly shaped green pincushion from a distance. A true dwarf of the Holly species, you'll enjoy this plant as a border or mass planting as a tall ground cover to fill large areas. It's slow growing - just a few inches a year - so it won't get out of bounds for you. The texture of the Carissa Holly also offers wonderful contrast as a low-growing foundation plant. Great for planting under low windows, or low porches. It's particularly beautiful when planted against brickwork, where those contrasting leaves can really show their stuff. Because Carissa Holly stays deep, glossy green all year, it makes a lush backdrop for flowering plants. Use this as a border plant along a walkway or in close proximity to a door way. You'll savor the fragrance of the tiny flowers in spring. The Carissa Holly can take a heavy shearing to maintain a more formal look. Plant 3 to 4 feet apart to form a low hedge.

The Carissa Holly is a hardy and tough plant but does best with at least 4 hours of full-sun each day. It also prefers rich, well- drained, slightly acidic soil. Once establised, The Carissa Holly it somewhat drought resistant and will reward you with rich, glossy green foliage year-round.