Are Holly Trees Only for Christmas?

The holiday season is often associated with holly trees - their beautiful, glossy green leaves and vibrant red berries are a quintessential symbol of Christmas. But have you ever wondered if holly trees only grow during the holiday season? Or if they're only used for decoration? As a gardener, you may have heard this misconception. 


Not just for Christmas

First and foremost, holly trees are not exclusive to Christmas time. In fact, holly trees are evergreen, meaning they retain their leaves year-round. In late summer or early fall, the holly trees begin to produce their berries, which will continue throughout the winter months. However, the berries are at their brightest and most abundant during winter, making them the perfect winter accent plant for your garden.

Holly Tree Gift

Secondly, holly trees are not just for decoration during Christmas. Holly trees come in various shapes and sizes and can be used in different landscaping designs. The smaller varieties of holly can be used for ground cover or as a border or hedge, while the larger ones can make an attractive specimen tree. Holly trees can also be pruned to conform to any shape you desire, such as a pyramid or even topiary.

Thirdly, holly trees are not just red berries. While the red berries are the most popular and widely known, holly trees can produce berries in a range of colours, including yellow, orange, and even black. The leaves of holly trees also differ in shape and texture, with some varieties producing spiny leaves while others produce smooth ones. So, while holly trees are popular at Christmas time, they have many more uses than just decoration.


The History of Holly Trees

Holly Bush Gift

Furthermore, holly trees are native to the UK, and they have an interesting folklore and cultural significance in ancient cultures. In pre-Christian times, holly trees were associated with the winter solstice, and the Druids believed that holly trees had magical properties that could ward off evil spirits. Holly trees were also associated with the Norse god, Odin, and were used in celebrations of the winter solstice. Today, holly trees are still particularly popular in the UK and are used for wreaths, garlands, and decorative centerpieces during the holiday season.

In conclusion, holly trees are not just a Christmas decoration, and they do not only grow during the holiday season. Holly trees are an evergreen plant with a year-round appeal that can be used in various ways in your garden and landscaping design. They have cultural significance and fascinating folklore and are easy to grow, making them a great addition to any gardener's collection. So, break the myth and plant holly trees to enjoy the year-round beauty of this versatile plant.