Photo by Melody
If you're looking for the today's articles, look no further than here!

PlantFiles: Blue Holly, Meserve Holly, Meserve Hybrid Holly
Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Girl'

Family: Aquifoliaceae (a-kwee-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ilex (EYE-leks) (Info)
Species: x meserveae (MESS-erv-ay) (Info)
Cultivar: Blue Girl

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

Thumbnail #1 of Ilex x meserveae by TBGDN

By lmelling
Thumbnail #2 of Ilex x meserveae by lmelling

Thumbnail #3 of Ilex x meserveae by TBGDN


5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive braun06 On Feb 24, 2014, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have repeatedly seen the China hollies rated as the hardier holly but this is not so. Locally the only holly that looks good planted in any location is a blue holly. Meanwhile I have mine planted in full exposure in the harshest winter in several decades with no mulch or winter burlap for their first winter. They have turned purple lightly as you would expect from such extreme cold but show no damage.

Positive weather1_guy On Feb 25, 2011, weather1_guy from Rochester, MN wrote:

I have one blue holly plant that I've successfully over wintered on a 3rd story patio (roof over patio) facing north. It did amazing last summer and had lots of new growth and I'm sure it will take off yet again this spring :) I have it planted in a wood planter that is about 1ft wide by 2 ft long and 1 ft deep. I did little to protect it over the winter.. just brought it all the way up next to the patio door with the patio rug under it.. then folded the rug up around just the pot to insulate it from the extreme cold.

Neutral pbyrley On Dec 4, 2009, pbyrley from Port St Lucie (+ Wk For), FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

My Michael Dirr book says Ilex x meserve cultivars (the "Blues") are not suited for the heat of Zone 7B- zone 9. Dirr says that, in Athens, GA, China Girl and China Boy which are I, rugosa x I. cornuta did fine while the "blues" all died in the extreme heat of 1973.

I mention this because Lowes and HD happily sell the "Blues" in Zone 7B (Raleigh, NC). And also because the zone table in this listing above says they are tolerant to Zone 9B, BUT, this is for cold, not heat tolerance!

Positive katsu On Apr 29, 2007, katsu from Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

We have a couple of Blue Girl holly plants near our house foundation. It's very dry full shade there. They have grown very well for at least 8 years (came with the house). They have red berries in winter and tiny white flowers in spring. The leaves are very dark and shiny, and look great all year long.

Neutral Alchris On Apr 3, 2007, Alchris from Edmonton, AB (Zone 3a) wrote:

I have had Blue Girl and Blue Boy varieties in the ground for 4 years here in zone 3b. They have survived unprotected but have grown little and remain about 12" tall. They are planted in morning to midday sun. After heavy snow cover last winter they look better than normal this spring and I am hopeful that I will see growth this year.

Positive TBGDN On Apr 9, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A new garden addition here in 2006. Hardiness Zones: 5 to 7 Height: 8-12 ft Spread: 8-12 ft Form: rounded Type: broad-leaved evergreen shrub Annual Growth Rate: 12 to 18 inches Fruits: Red, yellow. The Blue Hollies are so named because the dark green foliage has a blue overcast. The bark on young twigs is purplish. Many male and female cultivars are available and both must be grown in order to obtain fruit production on the females. Although the plants are fairly hardy, foliage can still be injured during severe winters in northern areas. There are several 'blue' (meserveae) cultivars including Blue Boy, Blue Prince, Blue Princess, Ebony Magic, China Boy, China Girl, Blue Maid, and Little Rascal. (REF: Michigan State University Extension) I bought both Blue Girl and Blue Boy, and I'm hoping Blue Boy will polinate the native holly (Ilex opaca) also growing nearby. Since both plants are new this year I want to wait a year before evaluating them.

Positive lmelling On Oct 30, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a very nice small holly. Leaves stay blue green and have beautiful red berries in fall. I have 2 that are fertilized each summer by the Blue Stallion holly elsewhere in my yard. I have found that the holly bush that is in full sun here in zone 5 does extremely well next to a small tub garden that is near our back door. It has rounded nicely, is about 2'5" - 3' tall and very full looking. On the opposite side of the door I have another Blue Girl that was planted at the same time, same soil type (clay augmented with garden soil) but only receives partial sun due to the proximity of our picnic table. This holly is only perhaps 20" - 2' tall, and while still nicely rounded, is not as full as the other one. So I would advise planting these in full sun in the northern zones.

This is one of the few hollies that will survive our tough northern winters. Wonderful plant!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Evergreen Park, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois (2 reports)
Spring Grove, Illinois
Tuscola, Illinois
Yorkville, Illinois
Macy, Indiana
Des Moines, Iowa
Louisville, Kentucky
Bethesda, Maryland
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Rochester, Minnesota
Helena, Montana
Omaha, Nebraska
Litchfield, New Hampshire
Ithaca, New York
Johnson City, New York
Orient, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America