Ilex crenata - Care advice

Planting strategy

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Ilex crenata is a plant that can be easily planted in common garden grounds. Furthermore, it can be also planted in common humus within buckets and bowls, e.g. for balcony plants. In contrast to boxwood plants that prefer steady grounds e.g. composed of lime, Ilex crenata plants should be planted in grounds that have a more soft consistence which can be achieved by adding peat or bark humus. Small hedges require every meter about 8 plants put in 10cm-sized pots. The best places for Ilex crenata to grow are sunny or light-shade locations. However, some Ilex crenata sorts, e.g. 'Variegata', form their individual accents like yellow-green look even in shade locations.

 

Fertilizer application

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Ilex crenata plants planted in spring or summer can be treated by long-time fertilizers that can be mixed into humus which allows a permanent nutrient supply and avoids an over-fertilization that can be typically caused by fertilizer for liquid application. Ilex crenata plants planted in late mid-summer or autumn may not be treated by additional fertilizers because mature shoots are, compared to young shoots, less frost suspectible.

 

Pruning

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Ilex crenata is outstanding suitable for every type of pruning up to bonsai designs. These treatments can be considered within the whole year. However, the best time span for these treatments is the period from spring to summer. If the grown Ilex crenata plants are too big, they can be radically cut due to its excellent growing feature which allows them to continue growing out of its former woody plants.

 

Hibernation

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Ilex crenata plants that are planted for a longer time in the grounds endured the extreme frost period with temperatures lower than -10°C that took place in Western Germany in February 2012 in an excellent way. Less protected Ilex crenata plants and many other green colored woody plants planted in buckets and bowls were being damaged, though. To avoid damages caused by cold or dry weather conditions with temperatures lower than -5°C, it is recommended to apply protections like nonwoven fabrics (no foil!) - or if possible - moving Ilex crenata plants put in buckets or bowls to a less cold place so that the plants can endure the winter period without damages.

 

Protection

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Relating to Ilex crenata, disease, and plague problems are rare. Grounds that include a remarkable high amount of water can include fungus attacking the roots of the plants which leads to their off-dying. As long as the roots are not yet black and thereby decomposed, the plant can be cut and its shoots used for a new population with excellent grow. A fungicidal treatment is only useful if the main source of this problem is being solved - the remarkable high amount of water in grounds. During warm and dry weather conditions, spider mites can attack Ilex crenata. As a consequence, the leaves get a brighter color and later on, they die and fall off the plant. If the plants are being attacked in a less dangerous way, removing the attacked parts of the plant and a biological treatment using Mesostigmata can be enough. In the case of more dangerous attacks, a successful treatment using pesticide like Acaricide can lead to an appropriate solution, but a comprehensive wetting of the reverse side of the leaves is necessary, which can be difficult in some cases, for example, Ilex crenata plant 'Convexa' has curved leaves and are difficult reachable.