Plants

Holly

Forest plant

To come across a holly plant in Italy is very easy: the plant is native to the Mediterranean area and is present as spontaneous vegetation in practically every region. This does not exclude cultivation: on the contrary, in gardens and private land the holly boasts a remarkable diffusion for various reasons. First of all, it is a very resistant plant that does not require too much effort in its maintenance, being precisely native to these areas and therefore perfectly adapted to our climatic conditions. Furthermore. holly is very fascinating and impressive due to its particular leaves and colored berries, which make it a very decorative element: for this reason, being a resistant and evergreen plant. L’ holly is traditionally used for the creation of decorations and garlands with which to decorate the houses during the Christmas period. By nature, if cultivated in compliance with its optimal conditions, over the years the holly can reach up to twenty meters in height. Often, however, it is preferred to cultivate it by giving it a shrubby shape: in this case it can reach five meters. Holly is one of the plants with the greatest variety: there are four hundred species, while there are many hybrids. it is preferred to cultivate it by giving it a shrubby shape: in this case it can reach five meters. Holly is one of the plants with the greatest variety: there are four hundred species, while there are many hybrids. it is preferred to cultivate it by giving it a shrubby shape: in this case it can reach five meters. Holly is one of the plants with the greatest variety: there are four hundred species, while there are many hybrids.

Cultivation


Holly can be grown in any type of soil, even if it does not tolerate basic or clayey ones. It requires a semi-shady position, so that in the summer it is not directly exposed to the sun’s rays for long hours. It is a plant that can easily be prey to parasites and fungi: for this reason it is important that the holly is protected with appropriate preventive treatments and that environmental conditions that can favor the proliferation of parasites are avoided: in this case, therefore, regular pruning will be provided to ensure the correct air exchange and adequate lighting for the internal fronds, while watering will not be too frequent, to meet the needs of the plant and to avoid water stagnation, precisely in favor of the multiplication of small insects. When the presence of parasites is identified, it is good to intervene in a timely manner to recognize the pest species and use the most suitable specific pesticides, completely eradicating colonization, which otherwise will do damage again.

Holly reproduction


In nature the reproduction of the holly occurs through the fall to the ground of the berries, containing the fertile seeds. It is a repeatable procedure also for home cultivation, but it must be taken into account that, at home or outdoors, starting from fresh or dry seeds, it will still have to wait several months before germination, while a long period will be necessary. in order to have a holly of considerable size. Furthermore, propagation by seed does not allow to know in advance whether a male or a female specimen will be born. For these reasons, therefore, it is usually preferred to reproduce by cuttings, which allows you to have a real plant in a short time and to select male or female specimens as you wish. The cuttings are obtained in the late spring or summer period from the apex of the branches without berries, which will be deprived of the leaves in the lower parts and then placed in the ground. The cutting will be kept in a cool and shady place until it has rooted. After sprouting, with the growth of the shoots the seedling can be placed regularly in the ground. Pruning is mainly used to control the shape and development of the holly, which usually does not require particularly invasive interventions. It is usually done twice a year, in early and late summer. which will be deprived of the leaves in the lower parts to be then placed in the ground. The cutting will be kept in a cool and shady place until it has rooted. After sprouting, with the growth of the shoots the seedling can be placed regularly in the ground. Pruning is mainly used to control the shape and development of the holly, which usually does not require particularly invasive interventions. It is usually done twice a year, in early and late summer. which will be deprived of the leaves in the lower parts to be then placed in the ground. The cutting will be kept in a cool and shady place until it has rooted. After sprouting, with the growth of the shoots the seedling can be placed regularly in the ground. Pruning is mainly used to control the shape and development of the holly, which usually does not require particularly invasive interventions. It is usually done twice a year, in early and late summer. Pruning is mainly used to control the shape and development of the holly, which usually does not require particularly invasive interventions. It is usually done twice a year, in early and late summer. Pruning is mainly used to control the shape and development of the holly, which usually does not require particularly invasive interventions. It is usually done twice a year, in early and late summer.

Holly: The holly in tradition


The spread and ease of cultivation have made holly a very widespread plant since ancient times: it is therefore not surprising that many traditions and customs are linked to it. Holly is a Christmas symbol par excellence, present in homes in the form of a decorative plant or sprig or part of more elaborate decorations. The berries, with their bright colors, are a symbol of joy and exultation and are therefore perfectly linked with the profound meaning of Christmas and the nativity, as well as the meaning of perennial life attributed to this evergreen plant. While in the British Isles the holly was considered a sacred plant, while among the ancient Romans it was traditional to give holly branches to the spouses as a sign of good omen. An equally ancient tradition is that concerning the holly in the American continent: it seems that the Indians, before the discovery and colonization, already used the leaves for decoctions and infusions believed to be able to stimulate strength, while planted near the villages the shrubs were considered able to keep evil spirits away . Symbols of strength and power, the holly branches accompanied the warriors into battle.

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