This handsome specimen, background plant or hedge has beautiful dark blue-green foliage on blue-purple stems. Excellent pollenizer for nearby female hollies. Very hardy cultivar. Evergreen.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. For a tidy, neat appearance, shear annually to shape. Pruning time: winter.
Its name attests to the blue cast of its foliage, a perfect backdrop for light-colored plants. Plant as a single specimen (gorgeous under snowfall) or line it up for a reliably dense hedge. Use to soften unsightly corners of fences or buildings, or plant at the back of shrub and perennial borders for reliable year-round foliage. Leave unsheared to attain full height and width for screens or to disguise utilities.
Plant to pollenize Blue Princess Holly (Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess'). Use as a structural evergreen in the garden accented with flowering Dwarf Snowflake Mock Orange (Philadelphus x virginalis 'Dwarf Snowflake') or the spectacular Avondale Chinese Redbud (Cercis chinensis 'Avondale'). Also a great choice for hedges beneath the city-tolerant Columbus Magnolia (Magnolia x veitchii 'Columbus').
The meservae hybrids were recently developed in New York during the 1960s. Breeders sought to cinrrease cold hardiness and improve visual appeal by breeding with an emphasis on species from northern Japan. The most well known parent is Ilex aquifolium, English holly. Asian genetics includes ancestry from Japanese Ilex integra and I. crenata. Blue Prince was selected by Monrovia and introduced in 1998 along with the female form, Blue Princess
European holly is one of the few broadleaf shrubs that remain evergreen in the winter. This led the ancient Celts and Britons to believe it imbued with special spirits of the vegetation, leading them to believe it sacred. Sprigs were cut and brought indoors to remind these ancients that despite the dead winter landscape, the spirits remained alive. These are the roots of the popularity of holly in Christmas decor today.