Ilex Meserveae Heckenpracht or Blue Holly Heckenpracht
Here’s one of five cultivars of Ilex meserveae we have for sale, including Blue Maid and Blue Prince. This family of Hollies, the Ilex meserveae, were bred from crossing the native British Ilex Aquifolium with the Ilex Rugosa. The Heckenpracht variety is a male plant. You can plant it with female hollies for pollination, an example being Ilex meserveae Blue Angel or Blue Maid; which then will produce the signature autumn berries, or just manage the shrub as a hedge on its own. Originating in Germany, it is considered a novelty among blue hollies. The name Heckenpract means pretty hedge in German. It is a cross between ilex aquifolium Pyramidalis and Ilex Meserveae Blue Prince.
Some key features that set Ilex Meserveae Heckenpracht apart from other Hollies include its upright, dense growth habit, making it a perfect choice for hedging. It will reach about 3.0 metres tall in 10 years of growth to reach ultimate height. Its ultimate spread will usually reach about 2.0 metres. New leaves are a pretty bronze colour which develop into a shiny blue hue, characteristic of the Blue Hollies. It expresses serrated, soft foliage, though not sharp.
For a Blue Holly Heckenpracht hedge, it is best to plant 2 plants to the metre typically. Blue Hollies need almost no maintenance as long as you provide them with slightly acidic soil and keep them adequately moist for the first few years to encourage a strong root system. You can choose to shape them in the early spring or midsummer, but they really form a nice compact shrub on their own. Just don’t over prune. It’s important that they retain their floral buds which set in the summer for the following year.
As with most Hollies, they are remarkably hardy to temperatures well below 0 degrees C. Some tests concluded as low as -27 degrees C. They can persist in full sun to full shade, but given a preference, it would be partial sun to partial shade. Soil should drain well, but also hold moisture, preferably rich in organic matter, but again, they can withstand a wide range of soil qualities. pH should be slightly acidic, but they can adapt to near or at neutral soils. In colder areas, keep them reasonably protected to prevent winter leaf and stem burn in extreme cold.
It should be stated that Holly berries are mildly toxic when ingested. They are hardy to Zone H6 in the UK. They can be placed in any Aspect, but West and South will help prevent winter scorch.