Ilex aquifolium 'ARGENTEA MARGINATA'

Ilex aquifolium
Ilex aquifolium  'ARGENTEA MARGINATA'
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
 taller shrub
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES varigated:cream and green
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE acidic (peaty) to neutral
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist but well-drained
USDA zone (lowest) 5b   (down to -27°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Evergreen broadleaf
Hedging plants
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English hollies are among the most common evergreen and native plants of milder parts of Europe with high humidity – British Isles, north France, Benelux countries, and milder parts of north Germany. Various species form trees, shrubs, or thickets. They are absent from natural Central European landscape but can be cultivated without problems. They are renowned for glossy, often prickly leaves, and multiple variegated forms have been selected for garden cultivation.

Argentea Marginata is an eye-catching cultivar of variegated English holly. Its sharply serrated, evergreen leaves are almost identical to those of the species but moreover are decorated with a wide brim of creamy white colour at margins. Young leaves show prominent purple red to dark pink hues as they emerge. They are extremely glossy. It is a female variety with produces plenty of red berries in autumn if pollinated by a male holly from nearby. They are inedible or toxic if eaten in a large quantity.

Once established it grows moderately to fast (30-40 cm per year) and can be easily pruned and shaped in any way – you can easily model the desired shape. Spring pruning in March/April enhances branching, while in summer you can trim the plant lightly into various shapes or hedges. The twigs are light yellow. Unpruned plants are rather substantial and may lack foliage inside the shrub. Common size of mature plants cultivated in C.E. climate is between 3 and 5 meters tall, but in countries with mild winters (and almost no frost) it can reach about 10 m tall and half as wide.

The origin of this variety is not documented and it is probably a very old one, and since English hollies produce mutations readily, it may have risen as a sport of the species. In 1993 it received the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) for beauty and reliability from the English Royal Horticultural Society.

Grow hollies in moist but well-drained, fertile soil. They can take periods of drought once established but dislike compacted, heavy-clay-based soils that turn very dry in summer, and often too wet in winter. If your soil is such, dig the planting hole only half the depth of the root ball, refine what you dig out and mix well with quality substrate of highly acidic level (low pH value). Using this mixture make a gradual slope from the stem to the original ground level and tamp it down as much as you can. Your root ball should not look like a molehill but more like a wide and flat mound. Mulch it well and keep watering it more often as it will be more prone to drying out as opposed to most common flat-in-the-ground transplanting. Hollies do best in full sun but can also grow in shade where they will lose their compact habit. Before and during winter when the soil is not frozen provide good watering. Argentea Marginata is fully hardy down to at least -25 °C and can take short spells of a few degrees lower (USDA zone 5b).

Last update 17-01-2009; 09-03-2022

Ilex aquifolium
Ilex aquifolium
Ilex aquifolium
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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