Re: I 'Blue Girl' was Ilex opaca
I have moved elderly I. crenata - found them hard to dig - but as I
don't grow the blue series, have no experience with them. Think it
would depend on how large the plant was because that would relate to
the size rootball you'd need to take in order to not stress it so
much you kill it. The other issue there is just how much rootball
you'd be able to get if it's intermingled with the BS...spruce have a
tough, spreading root system I found out recently when I dug one
out...so the spruce roots could be really intertwined with the
holly's by now. Can you even get in there to dig a decent ball?
Galle notes that he's moved 8-12' trees and they had 5-6' wide
rootballs. He pruned them back pretty hard.
Hollies are not always easy from cuttings, I understand. Depends on
the species; some are also very easy (I. crenata will root where
stems touch soil). Galle says that 'Blue Girl' is a hybrid of I.
rugosa 'Long Island' x I. aquifolium 'Lawrence White'. Now, he
also says that some cvs of I. aquifolium are hard to root and some
are not, but does not specify which. It appears that 'Lawrence
White' was of unknown parentage and it's likely that plants are no
longer available...helpful..NOT. He does not mention I. rugosa in
his lists of easy and hard to root species.
Looks like, from what he says, that you'd need to try rooting in an
enclosed environment as he keeps talking about 'under mist'. For
most, it appears that the best time to take cuttings is when new
growth from the current season is beginning to firm up, which cold be
from June to late Jan. or Feb; depending. Avg. cutting length is
6-8" tho' they can be longer or shorter...even up to 8-12" but they
take up more space and it's harder to keep the medium moisture right.
Leaves on the bottom third to half should be removed. Wounding the
base near the end of the cutting helps induce root formation. The
wound - 1/2 to 3/4" long can be single, double or done on 2 sides.
It can be made with the thumb when removing lower leaves or by
cutting off a thin slice of outer bark and cambium to just expose the
white inner wood.
Reduce leaf surface on larger leaf forms by cutting the leaves in
Galle further says that for difficult plants, such as I. aquifolium,
cuttings of juvenile growth are preferred. In those instances,
mature plans are cut back to induce new growth called water sprouts.
He also says using rooting hormone is important. IBA 8000-20,000
ppm is necessary to get some species to root. Easy to root types can
use 1000- 3000 IBA. Boron at 50 to 200 ppm + IBA has increased
quality of rooting in cuttings of I. aquifolium.
Standard rooting medium is 2 parts fine pine bark; 1 part peat & 1
part perlite by volume. If enclosed or under mist, using equal parts
bark and sand or peat and sand helps keep the mix from getting soggy.
Rooting requires 6-8 weeks.
Personally, I'd try to root some cuttings before I dug up that plant
to move it...just for safety. If you're serious about wanting to
move it, then I'd root prune it this spring and dig it next
spring...if you can get in there to do a good root prune job -
digging a trench around an inner root ball 2 spit deep and filling it
with something like compost or mulch - then you should be able to get
in to dig the plant out the next year (a few friends - extra muscle -
wouldn't hurt). I'd also prune it back this year, too.
The fact that your hidden one has done well seems to reinforce the
need for some shelter from the elements in your neck of the woods.
I am most interested to find the Blue series seems to grow well in
shade. Did not know that and may just have to whiz out and get one.
The form on these is more rounded than pointed, is it not? Or am I
My 'Nellie Stevens' are getting very open in the shade as do the
native I. opacas...I'd like to find one that kept a tighter form in
shade...does your Blue Girl?
Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor: Gardening in Shade
Shadyside Garden Designs
Current Article: Plant Exchange
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> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Marge wrote > I have 3 of those growing in too much shade <
> OK - now a new question. I have a Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Girl" that
> planted as a little shrubling next to a little 2 foot Blue Spruce
> 15 years ago. Behind it to the south is a chain link fence on the
> side of which a Neighbor has a huge Thuja. The poor thing is almost
> buried in there, but has thrived and is an outstanding example IMO.
> has prevented BS growth where they meet but as the BS gets bigger
> the front, I am seeing less and less of the holly. Might be nice to
> But 15 years is a long time. Do you think it could be moved safely?
> about taking cuttings first? Do Ilex take well from cuttings? -
> hard? when?
> Thinking more about the exposure problems mentioned....This hidden
> has thrived while the other two haven't. One is on the other side
> spruce and also getting crowded, but is up against other problems.
> one that was set further to the north in a triangle of the 3 never
> well at all - I think that was the Blue Boy. It was by itself and
> full sun and wind exposure. I yanked it a few years ago. I wonder
> just kill the good one by moving it.
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