Simply Trees

Needlepoint Holly

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Twice a monthFull sunDeer resistantFall to winter
  • Year-Round Interest: With its pointed, evergreen leaves and bright red berries, the Needlepoint Holly provides year-round visual interest, making it an ideal choice for those looking to maintain a colorful garden throughout all seasons.

  • Bird-Friendly: This holly variety produces vibrant red berries that serve as a natural food source for birds, promoting a healthy and diverse garden ecosystem.

  • Versatile Planting Options: The Needlepoint Holly is well-suited for both in-ground and container planting, allowing it to easily adapt to various garden layouts and space constraints.

More Details

Needlepoint Holly, botanically known as Ilex cornuta 'Needlepoint,' is a versatile evergreen shrub perfect for adding year-round interest to your garden. Admired for its intricate, pointed leaves and vibrant red berries, this holly variety also provides a natural habitat for birds. Well-suited for a range of climates and easy to care for, Needlepoint Holly is an excellent choice for gardeners looking to combine beauty with low-maintenance gardening.

Growth rate: Moderate Growth Rate; Mature Height: 10-15 feet; Mature Width: 6-10 feet.

Please note: Images on our website depict plants and trees at full maturity to showcase their expected grown characteristics. These images are illustrative examples only and do not represent the size of plants or trees upon delivery.

Pruning: Light pruning can be done to shape the shrub and maintain a tidy appearance, best performed in late winter to early spring.

Fertilization: Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring to promote healthy growth and berry production.

Winter Protection: While generally hardy, providing some mulch at the base can offer additional winter protection, particularly in colder parts of the growing zone.


For best results, plant the Needlepoint Holly in well-drained soil, enriched with organic material if possible. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball and set the plant in, filling the hole with soil and firming it around the root ball. Water thoroughly after planting and add a layer of mulch to help retain moisture. Make sure to space multiple plants at least 5-6 feet apart to allow for growth.

Ensure the Needlepoint Holly receives consistent watering, especially during the first growing season, while also making sure the plant gets full sun to partial shade for best results. Too much shade can reduce berry production.

We process and ship your order as quickly as possible, typically within 1-3 business days. You will receive a shipping confirmation with tracking information once your item(s) ship.

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

Please allow additional ship times during inclement weather and sale periods. We do not process or ship orders on the weekend or U.S. Holidays. Simply Trees is not responsible for delays due to carriers, local disruptions, or weather.

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At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at sales@simplytrees.store with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.

USDA GROW ZONE:

Zones 6-9

Needlepoint Holly thrives in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 9, making it a versatile choice for a variety of climates. The plant is heat-tolerant and can endure mild to moderate winters, offering flexibility for gardeners in different regions. It is well-suited for both urban and suburban settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Needlepoint Holly typically reaches a mature height of 10 to 15 feet and a width of 6 to 10 feet. This evergreen shrub has a more substantial size compared to smaller holly cultivars, making it suitable for use as a larger hedge, screen, or specimen shrub in the landscape.

Its dense growth habit and attractive foliage, consisting of small, glossy, dark green leaves, contribute to its ornamental appeal. While Needlepoint Holly maintains a compact shape, occasional pruning may be necessary to control its size and shape and promote overall health and vigor.

When planting Needlepoint Holly, provide adequate spacing between plants to accommodate their mature size and allow for proper air circulation and growth. Space plants approximately 6 to 10 feet apart, depending on your desired density and landscape design goals.

Overall, Needlepoint Holly adds year-round beauty and interest to gardens, borders, and foundation plantings, thanks to its substantial size and attractive appearance.

Needlepoint Holly is known for its moderate growth rate, but the actual rate of growth can vary depending on various factors such as climate, soil conditions, and care provided. Here are some general guidelines on the growth rate of Needlepoint Holly:

Initial Growth: In the first few years after planting, Needlepoint Holly tends to establish its root system and develop a framework of branches. During this period, the plant may exhibit relatively rapid growth as it acclimates to its new environment and fills out its space in the landscape.

Moderate Growth: Once established, Needlepoint Holly typically settles into a more moderate growth rate. It may grow anywhere from 6 to 12 inches per year in height, although growth rates can vary depending on environmental conditions and other factors.

Factors Influencing Growth: Several factors can influence the growth rate of Needlepoint Holly, including sunlight, soil quality, water availability, and pruning practices. Providing optimal growing conditions, such as full to partial sunlight, well-draining soil, regular watering, and occasional fertilization, can promote healthy growth and vigor in Needlepoint Holly plants.

Mature Size: Needlepoint Holly typically reaches a mature height of 10 to 15 feet and width of 6 to 10 feet.

Pruning: Pruning Needlepoint Holly can help shape the plant, promote branching, and maintain its desired size and appearance. Prune as needed in late winter or early spring before new growth begins, but avoid heavy pruning that may stress the plant or affect its growth rate.

Overall, Needlepoint Holly is valued not only for its attractive foliage and occasional berries but also for its relatively manageable growth rate, which makes it suitable for a variety of landscape applications. With proper care and maintenance, Needlepoint Holly can provide years of beauty and enjoyment in the garden.

The best place to plant Needlepoint Holly depends on various factors including sunlight, soil conditions, and space availability. Here are some key considerations to help you choose the ideal planting location:

Sunlight: Needlepoint Holly thrives in locations with full to partial sunlight. Plant it in an area that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal growth and berry production. However, it can also tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates.

Soil: Needlepoint Holly prefers well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral soil. Amend heavy clay soils with organic matter such as compost to improve drainage and soil structure. Avoid planting in waterlogged or poorly drained soil, as this can lead to root rot and other problems.

Space: Consider the mature size of Needlepoint Holly when selecting a planting location. Allow enough room for the plant to reach its full height and width without overcrowding other plants or structures. Needlepoint Holly typically grows to a height of 10 to 15 feet and width of 6 to 10 feet, but spacing may vary depending on your landscape design preferences.

Climate: Needlepoint Holly is adaptable to a wide range of climates, including USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9. It can tolerate moderate drought once established but benefits from regular watering during dry periods, especially in hot climates.

Landscape Use: Needlepoint Holly is versatile and can be used in various landscape settings. It works well as a hedge, border plant, specimen shrub, or foundation planting. Consider its placement in the landscape to enhance privacy, provide structure, or add ornamental interest.

Pollination: If you want Needlepoint Holly to produce berries, ensure that both male and female plants are present for cross-pollination. Male holly plants should be within proximity (usually within 100 feet) to ensure effective pollination of female plants.

Protection: Choose a planting location that provides some protection from strong winds and harsh weather conditions, especially in colder climates. Avoid planting in exposed areas where the plant may be susceptible to winter damage or windburn.

By considering these factors and choosing a suitable planting location, you can ensure the success and longevity of your Needlepoint Holly in the landscape.

When planting Needlepoint Holly, spacing considerations are important to ensure proper growth, air circulation, and visual appeal as the plants mature. Here are some guidelines for spacing Needlepoint Holly plants:

Between Plants: Space Needlepoint Holly plants approximately 6 to 8 feet apart when planting in a hedge or as part of a mass planting. This spacing allows the plants to fill in and create a dense, uniform hedge or grouping over time.

Between Rows: If planting multiple rows of Needlepoint Holly for a hedge or border, space the rows approximately 6 to 8 feet apart. This spacing provides adequate room for the plants to grow while maintaining visual separation between rows.

Consider Mature Size: Keep in mind the mature size of Needlepoint Holly when determining spacing. While Needlepoint Holly typically grows to a height of 10 to 15 feet and width of 6 to 10 feet, allowing for some additional space between plants ensures they have room to reach their full size without overcrowding.

Planting Distance from Structures: Plant Needlepoint Holly at least 4 to 6 feet away from buildings, fences, or other structures to allow for proper air circulation and maintenance access. Avoid planting too close to structures, as this can lead to overcrowding and potential damage to the plants or structures as they mature.

Planting Distance from Trees: If planting Needlepoint Holly near trees or larger shrubs, provide adequate spacing to avoid competition for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Maintain a distance of at least 4 to 6 feet between Needlepoint Holly plants and nearby trees or shrubs.

Adjust for Desired Density: If you prefer a denser hedge or grouping of Needlepoint Holly, you can plant them slightly closer together. However, be mindful of overcrowding, which can lead to increased competition between plants and potential issues with airflow and maintenance.

By spacing Needlepoint Holly plants appropriately at planting time, you can help ensure healthy growth, proper development, and an attractive landscape design as the plants mature.

Caring for Needlepoint Holly involves providing proper maintenance and attention to ensure healthy growth, dense foliage, and occasional berries. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to care for Needlepoint Holly:

Sunlight: Plant Needlepoint Holly in a location that receives full to partial sunlight. It prefers at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and berry production.

Soil: Ensure the soil is well-draining, moist, and slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5.5 to 6.5). Amend heavy clay soils with organic matter such as compost to improve drainage and soil structure.

Watering: Water Needlepoint Holly regularly, especially during the first growing season after planting to establish a strong root system. Once established, provide supplemental watering during periods of drought, ensuring the soil remains evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or bark mulch, around the base of the plant to conserve soil moisture, suppress weed growth, and regulate soil temperature. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk to prevent rotting.

Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants in spring, following the manufacturer's instructions. Avoid over-fertilizing, as excessive nitrogen can promote excessive foliage growth at the expense of berry production.

Pruning: Prune Needlepoint Holly as needed to maintain its desired shape and size. Remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches, as well as any crossing or overcrowded growth. Pruning is best done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

Pollination: Plant a male holly cultivar nearby to provide cross-pollination and ensure berry production on female Needlepoint Holly plants. Male and female holly plants should be within 100 feet of each other for effective pollination.

Pest and Disease Control: Monitor the plant regularly for signs of pests such as scale insects, aphids, or holly leaf miners. Treat infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Additionally, watch for diseases such as leaf spot or powdery mildew and manage them accordingly.

Winter Protection: In regions with harsh winters, protect Needlepoint Holly from strong winds, freezing temperatures, and heavy snow accumulation. Consider wrapping the plant with burlap or providing a windbreak to prevent winter damage.

Berries: Enjoy the ornamental berries produced by female Needlepoint Holly plants. These berries provide color and interest to the landscape, particularly during the fall and winter months. However, keep in mind that the berries are toxic if ingested and may cause gastrointestinal discomfort if consumed by pets or children.

By following these care guidelines and providing proper maintenance, you can ensure the health, vigor, and beauty of your Needlepoint Holly plants for years to come.

Yes, Needlepoint Holly is capable of producing berries. However, it's important to note that Needlepoint Holly is a female cultivar, meaning it requires a male pollinator nearby to produce berries. Therefore, if you want Needlepoint Holly to produce berries, you'll need to plant a male holly cultivar nearby for cross-pollination.

The berries of Needlepoint Holly are typically small and red, forming in clusters along the branches. They add ornamental interest to the plant, particularly during the fall and winter months when they are most prominent. The berries are also attractive to birds, which may feed on them during the winter when other food sources are scarce.

It's worth mentioning that while Needlepoint Holly can produce berries, the presence and abundance of berries may vary depending on factors such as the availability of a compatible male pollinator, environmental conditions, and the overall health of the plant. Additionally, some gardeners may choose to prune off the berries for aesthetic reasons or to prevent potential mess from fallen berries.

Needlepoint Holly generally has moderate water needs once established, but the frequency of watering can vary depending on factors such as climate, soil type, and weather conditions. Here are some general guidelines for watering Needlepoint Holly:

Establishment Period: During the first growing season after planting, provide regular watering to help the Needlepoint Holly establish a strong root system. Water deeply at least once a week, ensuring that the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Moisture Monitoring: Check the soil moisture regularly by inserting your finger into the soil near the base of the plant. Water the Needlepoint Holly when the top few inches of soil feel dry to the touch. Avoid watering on a fixed schedule and instead adjust based on soil moisture levels.

Climate and Weather: Consider the local climate and weather conditions when determining the watering frequency for Needlepoint Holly. In hot, dry climates or during periods of drought, the plant may require more frequent watering. Conversely, reduce watering during cooler or rainy periods.

Soil Type: Needlepoint Holly prefers well-draining soil that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged. Amend heavy or clay soils with organic matter such as compost to improve drainage and water retention.

Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or bark mulch, around the base of the Needlepoint Holly to help retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk to prevent rotting.

Deep Watering: Water Needlepoint Holly deeply to encourage deep root growth. Apply water slowly and evenly to ensure thorough penetration into the soil. Water the entire root zone, extending out to the drip line of the plant.

Drought Tolerance: Once established, Needlepoint Holly is relatively drought-tolerant and can withstand short periods of drought. However, prolonged drought or consistently dry conditions may stress the plant and require supplemental watering.

By monitoring soil moisture levels, adjusting watering frequency based on environmental conditions, and providing deep, thorough watering when needed, you can help ensure the health and vitality of your Needlepoint Holly plants.

Needlepoint Holly is a variety of Chinese holly, and like many holly species, it does have spiny leaves. However, the "Needlepoint" variety is often described as having fewer and smaller spines compared to some other holly cultivars. While it may still possess some thorns or spines along the edges of its leaves, they are typically less pronounced and sharp compared to other holly varieties.

The presence of thorns or spines on Needlepoint Holly can vary depending on factors such as plant maturity, environmental conditions, and individual plant genetics. In general, the spines serve as a defense mechanism against browsing animals and help deter herbivory.

If you are considering planting Needlepoint Holly in your landscape, it's a good idea to handle the plant with care and be aware of the potential for spines on the leaves. However, compared to some other holly species, Needlepoint Holly is often chosen for its more refined appearance and reduced thorniness, making it a popular choice for ornamental use in gardens and landscapes.

Pruning Needlepoint Holly is essential to maintain its shape, promote healthy growth, and encourage dense foliage. Here's a guide on how to prune Needlepoint Holly effectively:

Timing: Prune Needlepoint Holly in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. This timing allows the plant to recover quickly and promotes vigorous growth during the growing season.

Tools: Use sharp, clean pruning shears or loppers to make precise cuts without causing damage to the branches. Disinfect the tools before and after use to prevent the spread of diseases.

Remove Dead or Damaged Branches: Start by inspecting the Needlepoint Holly for dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Use pruning shears to remove these branches back to healthy tissue or to the nearest healthy branch or trunk.

Shape the Plant: Needlepoint Holly has a naturally dense and compact growth habit, but occasional pruning can help maintain its shape and size. Trim back any overgrown or wayward branches to encourage a more uniform shape. Make cuts just above a leaf node or lateral branch to promote branching and bushiness.

Reduce Height: If the Needlepoint Holly has become too tall or leggy, prune back the top growth to the desired height. Make cuts just above outward-facing buds or branches to encourage horizontal growth and a more natural appearance.

Thin Out Dense Growth: Thin out dense areas of the Needlepoint Holly to improve air circulation and light penetration. Remove interior branches or stems to open up the canopy and reduce overcrowding. This helps prevent disease and promotes better overall health.

Consider Flowering and Fruit Production: Needlepoint Holly produces small white flowers in spring, followed by red berries on female plants. If you want to encourage fruit production, avoid heavy pruning during the flowering and fruiting seasons.

Clean Up Debris: After pruning, remove any debris, dead leaves, or pruned branches from around the base of the plant. This helps prevent the spread of diseases and pests and keeps the area tidy.

Monitor Growth: Regularly monitor the growth of the Needlepoint Holly throughout the growing season. Make occasional maintenance cuts as needed to keep the plant looking its best and to address any new growth that may be out of place.

By following these pruning guidelines, you can keep your Needlepoint Holly healthy, attractive, and well-maintained for years to come.

Brown leaves on a Needlepoint Holly can be caused by various factors, including environmental stress, cultural issues, pests, diseases, or improper care. Here are some common reasons why the leaves on your Needlepoint Holly may be turning brown:

Watering Issues: Underwatering or overwatering can stress the plant and lead to brown leaves. Ensure the Needlepoint Holly receives sufficient water, especially during hot and dry periods. However, avoid waterlogging the soil, as this can suffocate the roots and cause root rot.

Soil Conditions: Poor soil drainage or soil compaction can hinder root health and lead to brown leaves. Improve soil drainage by amending heavy soils with organic matter and avoid planting in low-lying areas where water tends to accumulate.

Environmental Stress: Extreme temperatures, drought, strong winds, or exposure to harsh sunlight can stress the plant and cause leaf browning. Provide protection from harsh environmental conditions, such as windbreaks or shading during hot summer months.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies, particularly in essential minerals like iron or manganese, can result in brown leaves. Conduct a soil test to assess nutrient levels and amend the soil as needed with appropriate fertilizers or soil amendments.

Pests: Infestations of pests such as spider mites, scale insects, or aphids can cause leaf discoloration and browning. Inspect the plant regularly for signs of pests and treat infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

Diseases: Fungal infections such as leaf spot or powdery mildew can cause brown spots or patches on the leaves of Needlepoint Holly. Improve air circulation around the plant, avoid overhead watering, and remove and destroy infected plant material to prevent the spread of disease.

Pruning Stress: Improper pruning or excessive pruning can stress the plant and lead to brown leaves. Prune Needlepoint Holly sparingly and avoid removing more than one-third of the plant's foliage at a time.

Transplant Shock: If the plant has been recently transplanted, it may experience transplant shock, resulting in brown leaves. Provide adequate water and care to help the plant recover from transplanting stress.

By identifying the underlying cause of the brown leaves and addressing the issue accordingly, you can help your Needlepoint Holly regain its health and vigor. If the problem persists or worsens, consider consulting a local horticulturist or arborist for further assistance and diagnosis.

Our Process

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!