How Do You Prune a Holly Bush?


Quick Answer

To prune a holly bush, cut off dead or sick-looking branches with clean gardening shears. It is easier to prune if you start from the branches that are closer to the center of the bush and continue outward. If a part of a branch is dead, cut it off a little above the healthy leaves. You can also remove the entire branch by cutting it off where it connects to the main branch.

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How Do You Prune a Holly Bush?
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Full Answer

It is also possible to prune holly bushes to keep them in a certain shape. However, you can damage the bush if you don't know how to do this correctly. If you want to prune a holly bush into a hedge, keep in mind that it is better to prune a bush to an even shape instead of cutting some branches to be shorter than others. If you have an English Holly bush, never remove its lower limbs. If you want to change the shape of a holly bush completely, cut it to the ground when the bush becomes dormant for the winter.

You can successfully prune most types of holly bushes in the winter, especially in December, when the bush is dormant. However, some types of bushes, such as American holly bushes, need to be pruned more frequently. Other ones, such as Chinese or Yaupon holly, don't need to be pruned so often, as pruning can hurt the bushes.

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