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December plant of the moment

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Holly and ivy

With Christmas around the corner you can bring some festive cheer to your garden with two traditional favourite - holly and ivy. These are perfect garden plants and great additions to indoor arrangements, table decorations and wreaths. 

Both plant families include attractive evergreen varieties with beautifully multi-coloured leaves. Their berries provide food for birds, but if you want a few sprigs to enjoy indoors it's worth protecting branches with fine netting or fleece.

Hardy and evergreen, holly is ideal for forming your garden's structure. Most holly plants are male or female, so to get a crop of berries grow a female variety, with a male nearby to pollinate its flowers. If you want berries and only have room for one plant, try self-fertile 'J.C. van Tol'. 

With thick evergreen growth and spiny foliage, varieties like Hedgehog Holly are ideal for forming dense boundary hedges to help secure your property.

Ivy is a valuable climber or ground cover plant, perfect for a shady spot or for cladding bare fences or garden structures.  It needs regular pruning to prevent it spreading too far. 

Many varieties have colourful leaf forms or attractive variegated patterns. Established ivy carries flowers late in the season and small-leaved ivy is ideal for trailing down the sides of containers.

Visit your local Homebase store for our full range of winter plants, or browse online now.

Companion plants

Both holly and ivy fit in well with most garden plants, contributing to planting combinations that look good all year.

Top tips

  • Prune holly carefully with secateurs to shorten individual shoots. Hedge cutters or shears can tear and damage leaves.
  • Cut overgrown holly back in spring to encourage new growth from nearer the base.
  • Ivy can be invasive, so check growth regularly throughout the year, snipping off wayward shoots.
  • Plain green shoots sometimes develop on variegated plants. Prune these away at their base as soon as you spot them.

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