Shrub selection, we like Holly, more information desired

BazzettJuly 13, 2014

This past winter was pretty brutal here in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. So brutal that my Korean Boxwoods in front of my deck bit the dust after nine years of growing them from 4" pots to true full sized shrubs that came to the top of the deck. Trimmed for the first time last year, ah well.

My wife and I are now serious about replacing them, and were looking at the Blue Princess Holly. We really like how leaf green they are, something very different from the depressing pine needle green, which is typically the only green foliage in the area from October-April. However, I'm uncertain whether this Holly is suited to this climate. Some sites list the holly as a zone 5 plant, others as zone 4. I really don't want to do this again, so if it's suitable, that's great, and anyone have any ideas on where to get them at a reasonable price?

If however, they are unsuitable, I would appreciate some alternative, non-depressing pine tree options for zone 4 shrubs with year round foliage. All opinions welcome. Thank you for your time.

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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I think it might be really 'iffy' in zone 4. You'd probably get some dieback every couple years. But look around your region and see if there are any other hollies growing.

I'd check with your local nursery to see what they suggest. It might be that it will do OK with adequate winter shelter from winds but out of harsh winter sun.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:16AM
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Thanks for responding Dave. Unfortunately, my local nursery has often suggested things to me over the years that are not suitable for my climate, so I have learned to do research on my own.

Like I said, I really don't desire a repeat, so if I need to go with something hardier, I will.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:04PM
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If they are in an area of winter sun, they are likely to winter burn at least some of the time, so there will definitely be times they look fairly bad into June. I am half to a full zone hardier than you are, and we get consistent snow cover, often to as much as 4' deep. But my in-laws' hedge of Blue Princess & Prince has some bad winters, even with some shade in winter.

If you want an evergreen, I'd suggest a conifer since most broad-leafed evergreens will had at least some winter burn in sun in your zone, and may have a lot.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 6:45PM
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