S & J Tree Farm and Nursery’s
Guide to Growing
in The Northeast Florida Landscape
( Ilex attenuata ‘Savannah’)
Savannah Holly Origins:
– Native cross resulting from the Florida native Dahoon Holly and the native
American Holly that was selected and propagated commercially for its fast growth rate and heavy production
of the characteristic bright red Holly berries.
Savannah Holly Preferred Exposure:
– Savannah 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.
Savannah Holly Foliage | Bark:
– The Savannah holly look slightly more like a traditional Holly than
most of the attenuata cultivars, the edges of the leaves have short spines.
– Bark of the Savannah Holly is a light pale often mottled whitish colored grey.
Savannah Holly Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Characteristics similar most species of Holly trees, the Savannah Holly will
prefer rich, slightly acidic well drained soils. Savannah Holly trees will also tolerate a limy soil that others
– Salt tolerance moderate
Savannah Holly Size Variance:
– The Savannah Holly can reach sizes of 35’H | 6-10′ W
Savannah Holly (Ilex Attenuata) Growth Habit:
– Upright columnar growth habit, tends to be narrow taller than it is wide and
gradually widening from top to bottom in a Christmas tree shape.
Savannah Holly Growth Rate:
– Fast growth rate
Savannah Holly Bloom:
– Small, inconspicuous white flowers in clusters in summer are followed by
berries in the fall and winter.
– Note that Savannah Holly trees have male and female flowers on different
plants. Both male and female trees are needed for berry production, fortunately close proximity is not needed
and another in the neighborhood or forested area nearby will suffice.
Savannah 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
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– Birds love the berries produced by the Sabannah Holly in the winter months in
the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscapes.
Best Uses For Savannah Holly in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St.
Augustine area Landscape:
– Savannah Holly’s are an easy maintenance option when a narrow landscape accent is
needed due to lack vertical space.
– Fast growing and drought tolerant once established with little maintenance
needed after planting in the landscape.
– Use as a street tree, to block out neighboring buildings or two story houses.
Or as an ornamental tree for attracting native and migrating birds to the landscape in the winter months to
– 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 Savannah 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 for acid loving plants or Stay Green general purpose plant food,
sprinkling the fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the tree