Nellie R Stevens holly with roses?

msjam2March 14, 2014

I am extremely nervous, I planted 2 of Nellie R Stevens holly in my rose bed. It was a toss up between junipers or holly. Do ya'll think they will do ok and coexist in harmony like peanut butter and jelly? Or do I pull them out and plant junipers instead?

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Campanula UK Z8

I have now completely abandonned all holly unless it is one like JC Van Tol - ie. not a prickly fierce beast but one with nice rounded leaves.....after spending far too many hours on my knees being attacked by dead holly leaves which get even more vicious as they get drier, browner and stiffer. If this is an area where you are going to be grubbing about on the ground, consider junipers....or wear knee-pads and gauntlets.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 9:12AM
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msjam2

But in general, rosed and hollies live together in harmony, right?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 12:19PM
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Campanula UK Z8

What roses are they? I ask because I have seen this combo looking rather good but it was very large shrub roses (Alba semi-plena) planted with equally large English holly( Ilex aquilfolium, possibly Silver Queen) and very deep green Japanese holly, Ilex crenata.....as part of a huge boundary hedge.....it was an extraordinary sight at all times in the year but had nothing of the formality of some rose/evergreen combinations. Planting wise, they enjoy similar conditions so I see no problems regarding maintenance requirements (apart from the prickly ones). As a rule though, unless your roses are the same colour, adding variagation to the mix can be a bit eye-achy.....so a plain holly might be more serene and harmonious in a mixed rose bed.....but obvs, ymmv.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 6:39PM
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erasmus_gw

I planted a Nellie Stevens at the corner of my house and it is about 30' high now. It will take up a lot of room in your rose bed. I had a second Nellie Stevens cut down but it is very stubborn about trying to come back.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:36AM
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msjam2

Thanks for that info, I chose holly because I want to give the birds sanctuary during winter.

Nellie shouldn't have problems with pruning right? How about the leaves? Is it really that bad?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Campanula UK Z8

All evergreens drop their leaves continually throughout the season. As long as you don't dive in, grubbing about underneath the holly, you won't find it too onerous....but if this is part of a scheme which requires regular weeding, just be aware that prickly holly leaves get very lignified (woody and dry) and hang around for a long time - wear gloves and don't kneel on any. I agree, holly is a wonderful resource for birds throughout the year. I looked this holly up - it looks like a great background tree which would show your roses off very well indeed - in England, yew is frequently used as hedges to give this same look - a very classic combination, I think, which will be worth enduring the odd pricks for.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:41PM
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erasmus_gw

Yes, it could be a great background tree. In my climate it wants to be a tree, not a shrub. I don't know how it would respond to the heat in TX..it might get even bigger than it does here or it might not thrive in heat. I guess you can see what they do in your area. I would not want to have to keep pruning it to keep it smaller but that's me. Your rose bed might be big enough for a couple of trees.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:28AM
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