Simply Trees

Carissa Holly

Ships 1-2 days

Size
$48.00
 
Once a weekFull sunDeer resistantSpring
 
  • Lustrous Evergreen Foliage: Carissa Holly offers year-round visual interest with its deep green, glossy leaves that maintain their vibrant color across seasons, ensuring a continually lush and inviting garden.
  • Compact and Low Maintenance: With its naturally rounded, compact growth habit, Carissa Holly is an excellent choice for those looking for an easy-to-maintain shrub that doesn't require regular pruning to keep its neat appearance.
  • Drought and Heat Tolerance: Suited for a variety of climates, the Carissa Holly is notably resilient to heat and drought conditions once established, making it a hardy choice for landscapes in dryer regions or for gardeners seeking water-wise plants.
 

More Details

Carissa Holly, scientifically known as Ilex cornuta 'Carissa', is a dense, low-growing evergreen shrub distinguished by its deep green, glossy leaves and compact, rounded form. This cultivar is particularly noted for its spineless leaves, making it a more user-friendly choice for gardens and landscapes. Ideal for use as a foundation planting, low hedge, or accent piece, Carissa Holly offers year-round visual interest with minimal maintenance. It is drought-tolerant once established and requires little pruning to maintain its shape, making it a favored choice for both residential and commercial landscapes seeking a touch of elegance and simplicity.

Growth rate: Slow to moderate growth rate; mature height of 3-4 feet and width of 4-6 feet.

Please note: Images on our website depict plants and trees at full maturity to showcase their expected grown characteristics. These images are illustrative examples only and do not represent the size of plants or trees upon delivery.

Pruning: Requires little pruning to maintain its shape but can be trimmed annually if a more formal appearance is desired.

Fertilization: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring to promote healthy growth and foliage color.

Winter Protection: Generally hardy in its growing zones, but mulching can help protect the root system in colder climates.


Choose a location with well-draining soil in full sun to partial shade. Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Plant the holly, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly. Space plants 4-6 feet apart to allow for their mature spread.

The Carissa Holly prefers well-drained soil and regular watering to maintain optimal health and growth. Water deeply when the top inch of soil feels dry, ensuring the water reaches the root zone. However, avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. As for sunlight, the Carissa Holly thrives in full to partial sun. Provide it with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily to promote robust growth, dense foliage, and prolific berry production.

Every product typically ships in 1-2 days. You will receive a shipping confirmation with your tracking number once your item(s) ship.

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

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At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at sales@simplytrees.store with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.

USDA GROW ZONE:

Zones 7-9

Carissa Holly is well-adapted to USDA Zones 7-9, where it can thrive in a range of environmental conditions. It prefers well-drained soil and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade, making it versatile for different garden designs and locations. Its ability to withstand periods of drought and lower water requirements once established make it a sustainable choice for water-wise gardening.

Frequently Asked Questions

Carissa Holly is a compact and dense evergreen shrub that typically reaches a mature size of about 3 to 4 feet in height and spread. However, growth habits and ultimate size can vary depending on factors such as growing conditions, climate, and pruning practices.

Under optimal growing conditions and with minimal pruning, Carissa Holly tends to maintain a rounded, mounded form with dense foliage. It is well-suited for use as a low hedge, border plant, or specimen shrub in the landscape.

While Carissa Holly is generally considered a smaller variety of holly, it's essential to consider its mature size when planning its placement in the landscape. Proper spacing and placement can help prevent overcrowding and ensure the plant has enough room to grow to its full size without obstruction.

Additionally, regular pruning can help control the size and shape of Carissa Holly, making it easier to maintain in smaller spaces or as part of a formal garden design. By understanding its growth habits and needs, you can effectively incorporate Carissa Holly into your landscape to enhance its beauty and functionality.

Carissa Holly is known for its relatively slow to moderate growth rate. Under optimal growing conditions, Carissa Holly can typically expect to grow about 6 to 12 inches per year. However, growth rates may vary depending on factors such as:

Growing Conditions: Carissa Holly grows best in full to partial sun with well-draining soil. Providing optimal sunlight, soil fertility, and moisture levels can promote healthier and faster growth.

Climate: Carissa Holly is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9, where it can thrive in a range of temperatures. However, extreme heat or cold can slow down growth rates and may require additional care to support the plant's development.

Watering: Adequate moisture is essential for the growth of Carissa Holly, especially during the establishment phase. Consistent watering, particularly during dry periods, can help maintain optimal growth rates and prevent stress-related issues.

Pruning: Pruning can also affect the growth rate of Carissa Holly. Regular pruning to maintain shape and size can encourage denser growth and promote a more compact form. However, excessive pruning or neglecting to prune can slow down growth and lead to sparse foliage.

Fertilization: Providing balanced fertilizer in spring can support healthy growth and development in Carissa Holly. However, excessive fertilization can lead to rapid, leggy growth that may require more frequent pruning to maintain.

Overall, while Carissa Holly may not be the fastest-growing plant, its slow to moderate growth rate makes it well-suited for use as a hedge, border, or specimen plant in the landscape. With proper care and attention to growing conditions, you can help your Carissa Holly thrive and reach its full potential over time.

The best place to plant Carissa Holly is in a location that meets its growing requirements and complements its characteristics. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best planting location for Carissa Holly:

Sunlight: Carissa Holly prefers full to partial sun, meaning it should receive at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Choose a planting location that provides adequate sunlight for the plant to thrive and develop its dense, glossy foliage.

Soil: Carissa Holly grows best in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay, loam, and sandy soil, but soil should not be overly wet or waterlogged. Test the soil drainage before planting and amend as needed to improve soil structure and fertility.

Moisture: While Carissa Holly prefers moist soil, it can tolerate periods of drought once established. Choose a planting location with consistent moisture levels, avoiding areas prone to standing water or drought stress. Water the plant regularly, especially during hot, dry periods, to ensure adequate hydration.

Climate: Carissa Holly is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9, meaning it can tolerate a range of temperatures but may struggle in extremely cold or hot climates. Choose a planting location that is suitable for the plant's hardiness zone and provides protection from harsh winds or extreme temperatures.

Space: Consider the mature size of Carissa Holly when selecting a planting location. Choose a spot with enough space for the plant to grow to its full size without overcrowding or obstruction. Keep in mind that Carissa Holly can be planted as a hedge, screen, or specimen plant, so spacing requirements may vary depending on the desired outcome.

Landscape Design: Incorporate Carissa Holly into your landscape design to enhance its aesthetic appeal and functionality. Use it as a hedge or border plant to provide privacy, screen unsightly views, or define outdoor spaces. Plant it near entrances, pathways, or focal points to add year-round interest and curb appeal.

Overall, the best place to plant Carissa Holly is in a location that provides adequate sunlight, well-draining soil, consistent moisture, and protection from harsh environmental conditions. By considering these factors and planning accordingly, you can create an ideal growing environment for Carissa Holly in your landscape.

The best time to plant Carissa Holly is typically in the early spring or fall. Here's why each season is suitable for planting Carissa Holly:

Early Spring: Planting Carissa Holly in early spring allows the roots to establish before the heat of summer arrives. Cool temperatures and ample moisture in the soil promote root growth and help the plant acclimate to its new environment. Aim to plant Carissa Holly in early spring, after the threat of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up sufficiently for active growth.

Fall: Planting Carissa Holly in the fall, typically from late summer to early fall, allows the roots to establish before winter dormancy. The cooler temperatures and more frequent rainfall in the fall create favorable conditions for root development without the stress of summer heat. Planting in the fall also allows the plant to benefit from natural rainfall, reducing the need for supplemental watering.

Regardless of the season, it's essential to plant Carissa Holly during a time when the soil is workable and not waterlogged. Avoid planting during periods of extreme heat or drought, as this can stress the plant and hinder establishment.

When planting Carissa Holly, be sure to:
- Choose a location with well-draining soil and adequate sunlight.
- Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and backfill with amended soil.
- Water the plant thoroughly after planting to settle the soil and encourage root establishment.
- Mulch around the base of the plant to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
- Monitor the plant regularly and provide supplemental water as needed, especially during the first growing season after planting.

By planting Carissa Holly at the optimal time and providing proper care, you can help ensure its successful establishment and long-term health in your landscape.

When planting Carissa Holly, spacing will depend on your desired outcome and the specific cultivar. Here are some general guidelines for spacing Carissa Holly plants:

For Hedge or Screen: If you're planting Carissa Holly as a hedge or screen, space the plants about 2 to 3 feet apart, center to center. This spacing allows the plants to grow together and form a dense, cohesive hedge over time.

For Mass Plantings: When planting Carissa Holly in mass plantings or as a groundcover, space the plants about 3 to 4 feet apart, depending on the desired density and coverage. This spacing allows the plants to fill in the area gradually and create a uniform appearance.

For Individual Specimens: If you're planting Carissa Holly as individual specimens or focal points in the landscape, space the plants about 4 to 6 feet apart. This wider spacing allows each plant to develop its natural form and size without competition from neighboring plants.

Consider Mature Size: Keep in mind the mature size of Carissa Holly when determining spacing. While Carissa Holly 'Carissa' cultivar tends to stay compact and dense, some other varieties may grow larger and require more spacing to accommodate their size.

Adjust Spacing for Faster Coverage: If you want faster coverage or a denser hedge, you can plant Carissa Holly closer together than the recommended spacing. However, be prepared to prune the plants regularly to manage their growth and maintain the desired shape.

Overall, spacing Carissa Holly plants according to their intended use and mature size will help you achieve the desired aesthetic and functionality in your landscape. Be sure to consider factors such as sunlight, soil conditions, and maintenance requirements when planning your planting layout.

Caring for Carissa Holly involves providing suitable growing conditions and regular maintenance to ensure its health and vigor. Here are some essential care tips for Carissa Holly:

Light: Plant Carissa Holly in a location that receives full to partial sun. While it can tolerate some shade, it performs best in areas with at least six hours of sunlight per day.

Soil: Carissa Holly prefers well-draining soil with good fertility. Amend heavy or compacted soil with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve drainage and soil structure.

Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during the first growing season after planting. Water deeply and thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Avoid overwatering.

Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or wood chips, around the base of the plant to conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk to prevent moisture-related issues.

Fertilizing: Feed Carissa Holly annually in spring with a balanced fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application rates and timing. Avoid excessive fertilization, as it can lead to nutrient imbalances and reduce plant health.

Pruning: Prune Carissa Holly as needed to maintain its size and shape, promote air circulation, and remove dead or diseased branches. Prune in late winter to early spring before new growth emerges. Use sharp, clean pruning tools and make clean cuts just above a leaf node or lateral branch.

Pest and Disease Control: Monitor Carissa Holly regularly for signs of pests, such as scale insects or spider mites, and diseases, such as leaf spot or powdery mildew. Treat infestations promptly with appropriate insecticides or fungicides, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Winter Protection: In colder climates, provide protection from freezing temperatures and harsh winter winds. Mulch around the base of the plant and consider wrapping the plant with burlap or frost cloth during extreme cold snaps.

Monitoring and Maintenance: Keep an eye on Carissa Holly for signs of stress, such as wilting, yellowing foliage, or pest infestations. Address any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening and impacting the overall health of the plant.

By providing proper care, including adequate water, sunlight, soil conditions, and regular maintenance, you can help your Carissa Holly thrive and enhance the beauty of your landscape with its glossy foliage and berries.

Carissa Holly is generally considered hardy in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9. It can tolerate temperatures down to about 0°F to 10°F (-17°C to -12°C) once established. However, its exact cold tolerance may vary depending on factors such as the age and health of the plant, soil conditions, and environmental factors.

In colder climates or during periods of extreme cold, Carissa Holly may experience some leaf damage or dieback, especially on new growth or less established plants. Providing protection from cold winds, mulching around the base of the plant, and planting in a sheltered location can help minimize cold damage and improve winter survival.

If you live in a region with temperatures regularly dropping below the recommended hardiness zones for Carissa Holly, consider planting it in a protected location, such as near a building or in a microclimate with milder temperatures. Additionally, covering the plant with burlap or frost cloth during extreme cold snaps can provide temporary protection from freezing temperatures.

Overall, while Carissa Holly can tolerate a range of temperatures, it is best suited to climates with mild winters and may require additional care and protection in colder regions to ensure its health and survival through the winter months.

Pruning Carissa Holly is essential for maintaining its shape, controlling its size, and promoting healthy growth. Here's how to prune Carissa Holly effectively:

Timing: Prune Carissa Holly in late winter to early spring before new growth emerges. Avoid pruning during the fall or early winter, as this can stimulate new growth that may be susceptible to frost damage.

Tools: Use sharp, clean pruning shears or hedge trimmers to make precise cuts. Disinfect your pruning tools with rubbing alcohol or a diluted bleach solution before and after use to prevent the spread of diseases.

Remove Dead or Damaged Branches: Start by inspecting the plant for dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Use pruning shears to remove these branches back to healthy tissue or the main stem. Make clean cuts just above a leaf node or lateral branch to promote healing.

Shape the Plant: Carissa Holly can be pruned to maintain a formal hedge shape or a more natural, rounded form. Use hedge trimmers to shear the plant evenly, trimming back any overgrown or straggly branches to achieve the desired shape.

Thin Out Dense Growth: If the Carissa Holly has become too dense or crowded, selectively prune some of the interior branches to improve air circulation and light penetration. This helps prevent disease and encourages healthy growth throughout the plant.

Maintain Size: If you're growing Carissa Holly as a hedge or border plant, prune it regularly to maintain the desired size and shape. Aim to remove no more than one-third of the plant's total foliage in a single pruning session to avoid stressing the plant excessively.

Consideration for Berries: Carissa Holly produces small, red berries that add ornamental interest to the plant. If you want to encourage berry production, avoid pruning off all the new growth, as this is where the flowers and berries form. Instead, selectively prune to maintain a balance between growth and berry production.

Clean Up Debris: After pruning, remove any debris, including dead foliage and branches, from around the base of the plant. Dispose of the trimmings properly to prevent the spread of diseases or pests.

By following these pruning guidelines and techniques, you can help keep your Carissa Holly healthy, attractive, and well-maintained throughout the growing season. Remember to prune conservatively and avoid excessive pruning, especially during the active growing season, to minimize stress on the plant.

Black spots on Carissa Holly foliage can be indicative of several potential issues, including fungal diseases, pests, or environmental stressors. Here are some common causes of black spots on Carissa Holly and how to address them:

Fungal Diseases: Fungal diseases such as leaf spot or anthracnose can cause black spots to develop on Carissa Holly leaves. These diseases often thrive in humid conditions and can spread rapidly during periods of warm, wet weather. To manage fungal diseases:
- Prune affected branches to improve air circulation and remove infected foliage.
- Avoid overhead watering to reduce moisture on the leaves.
- Apply fungicides labeled for use on ornamental shrubs, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Pests: Certain pests, such as scale insects or spider mites, can feed on Carissa Holly foliage, causing damage that appears as black spots or discoloration. To control pest infestations:
- Inspect the plant regularly for signs of pests, including webbing, scale insects, or stippling on the leaves.
- Use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to treat infested plants, following the manufacturer's instructions.
- Prune heavily infested branches and dispose of them properly.

Environmental Stress: Environmental factors such as drought, nutrient deficiencies, or extreme temperatures can stress Carissa Holly plants, making them more susceptible to diseases and pests. To minimize environmental stress:
- Ensure that the plant is receiving adequate water during dry periods, especially in the first year after planting.
- Mulch around the base of the plant to conserve soil moisture and regulate temperature.
- Monitor soil fertility and pH levels, and fertilize as needed with a balanced fertilizer formulated for evergreen shrubs.

Cultural Practices: Improper cultural practices, such as planting Carissa Holly in poorly draining soil or overcrowded conditions, can also contribute to black spot development. To promote plant health:
- Plant Carissa Holly in well-draining soil and provide adequate spacing between plants to improve air circulation.
- Avoid planting in low-lying areas where water tends to collect.
- Prune the plant as needed to maintain its shape and remove any dead or diseased foliage.

By identifying the underlying cause of the black spots on your Carissa Holly and taking appropriate corrective measures, you can help restore the plant's health and vitality.

Planting Carissa Holly is relatively straightforward and can be done following these steps:

Choose the Right Location: Select a planting site that receives full to partial sun. Carissa Holly prefers well-draining soil but can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay and sandy soil.

Prepare the Soil: Before planting, amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve fertility and drainage. Work the amendments into the soil to a depth of about 12 inches.

Dig a Hole: Dig a hole that is slightly wider and as deep as the root ball of the Carissa Holly plant. The hole should be at least twice the width of the root ball to allow room for the roots to spread.

Remove the Plant from the Container: Gently remove the Carissa Holly plant from its container, being careful not to disturb the roots excessively.

Plant the Carissa Holly: Place the plant in the center of the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the roots to remove air pockets.

Water Thoroughly: Water the newly planted Carissa Holly thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged, especially during the first growing season to help the plant establish itself.

Mulch: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or wood chips, around the base of the plant to help retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk to prevent moisture-related issues.

Prune if Necessary: While not immediately necessary, you can lightly prune the Carissa Holly to shape it or remove any dead or damaged branches after planting. Avoid heavy pruning until the plant is well-established.

Monitor and Maintain: Keep an eye on the Carissa Holly plant for signs of stress, pests, or diseases. Provide supplemental water during dry periods and fertilize in spring with a balanced fertilizer formulated for evergreen shrubs, following the manufacturer's instructions.

By following these planting steps and providing proper care, you can help your Carissa Holly establish and thrive in its new location, enhancing the beauty of your landscape with its glossy foliage and berries.

Our Process

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!