S & J Nursery’s Guide to
Mary Nell Holly
in The Northeast Florida Landscape
( Ilex ‘Mary Nell’)
Mary Nell Holly Origins:
– Not native to North America, the Ilex Mary Nell is an all female cultivated hybrid
cross between Ilex latifolia and ( Ilex cornuta x ilex pernyi)
Mary Nell Holly Preferred Exposure:
– Mary Nell Holly trees will tolerate both full sun and full shade equally well in the North Florida |
Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape. They will tend, like other Holly cultivar to have more berries with
more sunny exposures.
Mary Nell Holly Foliage | Bark:
– Mary Nell Holly has a deep dark almost olive like glossy green foliage that
is heavily spine along the margins of the leaf.
– Bark of the Mary Nell Holly is a light pale tan.
Mary Nell Holly Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Characteristics similar to most species of Holly trees, the Mary Nell Holly will
prefer rich, slightly acidic well drained soils although they are widely tolerant of a range of soil
– Salt tolerance unknown
Mary Nell Holly Size Variance:
– The Mary Nell Holly can reach sizes of 10-20H | 10′ W
Mary Nell Holly (Ilex Mary Nell) Growth Habit:
– Upright columnar growth habit and dense fully foliated branches, the Mary Nell
Holly tree tends to be narrow taller than it is wide and gradually widening from top to bottom in a Christmas
Mary Nell Holly Growth Rate:
– Slow growth rate makes the Mary Nell Holly an easily managed landscape plant for
accenting the foundation of a home or used as a hedge or privacy screen.
Mary Nell Holly Bloom:
– Small white flowers in clusters in summer are followed by berries in the fall and
Mary Nell Holly Water Requirements:
– Water well during the establishment period and any time after that when you are
trying to get your Holly to flush new growth or when attempting to correct a nutrient deficiency in the
– Mary Nell Holly trees will be drought tolerant once established in the he
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
Best Uses For Mary Nell Holly in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine
– Mary Nell Holly’s are an easy maintenance option when a narrow landscape accent is
needed due to lack vertical space.
– The Mary Nell Holly also makes a great landscape specimen tree that will require
little effort on your part to maintain its beautiful form and lush foliage.
– The Ilex Mary Nell is an excellent wind screen or evergreen privacy barrier
between neighbors or property lines. Drought tolerant with little care needed after establishment makes this
Holly tree selection an easy choice for the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape.
– Prune branch tips each winter for Christmas season decorations that will last for
weeks, the more you prune for decorations, the prettier your holly tree will be next year!
Care of Mary Nell Holly:
– Water every day during the establishment period. See watering your newly planted
trees for more information.
-They will need good water during the establishment period and supplemental
irrigation when attempting to add soil nutrients or after pruning to help flush new foliage.
– Provide a 1 ft diameter circle of mulched area where grass is kept from growing
for each inch of caliper (or diameter) of trunk measured 4 inches from the ground level.
– Fertilize each spring with a mixture of milorganite or ‘Green Edge’ and a slow release poly coated plant food
such as Osmocote Plus slow release plant food fertilizer plants
or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around on the mulch circle area underneath
the foliage of the tree.