I want to plant a row (4) of Ilex crenata in a strip of soil two feet wide for a length of six feet. This area does not get full sun–it gets partial sun, perhaps 4-5 hours in the morning and early afternoon, but none after 3-4 pm. I have read conflicting information regarding the amount of sun this plant needs. Also, I live in Toronto below the height of land, which places me in the warmer zone, I believe 5b. I have read conflicting information about the hardiness of this plant. The planting site is also against a neighbours verandah wall, so the plants would be shielded from the worst of winter winds. The soil is not sandy; given that I live in Toronto, I assume a clay-based soil, with non-acidic pH. I have not purchased any trees yet. Are they likely to survive in this spot?
Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’, what a lovely plant.
I’m including a link to a very reputable source so you can get reliable information before you make such a large investment decision for your garden – see below.
From the research I’ve done, I have some further information that may be useful.
- In order to have fruit, both male & female plants are needed.
- It is tolerant to most soils but needs good drainage.
- It is susceptible to aphids, scale, leaf miners and holly blight.
- Requires very little pruning to maintain its columnar shape.
- Grows in full sun to part shade.
- Requires one feeding in the spring of a 10-10-10 fertilizer.
The most pressing issue with this plant is its tolerance to our Toronto winter, will it survive & thrive? According to the new Canadian Hardiness Zone map, Toronto falls into the 5a zone. This means that plants should be hardy to temperatures between -26.1 degrees C to -28.9 degrees C.
According to the link above from Oregon State University, the plant is hardy to US Hardiness Zone 6 which means that it should be able to survive temperatures between 0 degrees F to -10 degrees F (-17 degrees C to -23 degrees C).
So deducing from the above information, I would say you are taking a chance if you purchase these plants because they just may not make it through our winters.
As an aside, I have checked with several nurseries here in Ontario and they are selling these plants with the Hardiness Zone as 7a which is equivalent to -15.0 degrees C to -17.8 degrees C, and will not guarantee them in colder zones.
I hope this makes sense and is helpful.