Heckenfee is also known as a blue holly or holly shrub. The CASTLE SPIRE variety was developed in 1998 from a cross-breeding program in Germany. The CASTLE SPIRE Heckenfee comes from a cross between the Ilex aquitolium “Pyramidalis” and Ilex meserveae “Blue Prince”. Heckenfee is also a female variety with a male counterpart, the “Heckenstar”. If you are interested in aiding pollination for this species you will need to have a compatible male pollinator on the property, such as the “Heckenstar”.
These shrubs grow slowly over the course of their lifetime, finally reaching their mature height of around ten feet. This particular species of holly is a narrower variety so it will do well if you want to make use of a smaller space, up to three and a half feet wide.
Because of their height the Heckenfee is a perfect choice for the back space, in mixed borders around the foundation of your home or in smaller garden areas. Heckenfee hollies have dense serrated leaves in a glossy dark green color that grow to be about two inches in length; their dense also makes this shrub highly suitable as a hedge alternative if you don’t fancy having to install an unsightly fence. Grouping them together around your property can ensure a tight-knit, virtually impenetrable hedge that will offer privacy and protection as well as clearly defining your property’s borders.
Even though the shrub maintains most of its color throughout the year it is most notable during the spring season when it begins to flower, producing small greenish-white flowers in small clusters. These give way to the bright red holly berries that mature in the fall and last throughout the winter months as well. Imagine your snowy winter garden contrasted with the deep green leaves and red berries of the Heckenfee – isn’t it beautiful?
One of the benefits of planting several Heckenfee hollies is that they are virtually maintenance free. They thrive in slightly acidic, moist soils from a young age and as they mature, their root systems become extensive and well established. Hollies also don’t require pruning unless, of course, you are interested in creating a different sort of visual appeal. The Heckenfee responds well to pruning and is capable of maintaining its shape with regular care and trimming. When pruning the Heckenfee you will want to keep these following tips in mind:
- Holly bushes actually benefit from pruning in the winter months when they are most dormant.
- Don’t prune lower branches shorter than the upper branches. You will want to maintain an even shape throughout.
- Always remove dead branches from the inside working your way outwards.
- Trim just above new budding leaves or all the way to the trunk.
- Try not to remove the lowest branches of the holly bush.
- You can cut your bush to the ground and allow it to start growing over again if it is seriously damaged.
Holly bushes also have a long life span; many of them will outlive us if they are healthy specimens. They can live well over 100 years to be enjoyed by not only your generation but several more to come. Their long lives will also make choosing the best spot for them on your property an important decision. However, do not despair if you have to move your holly to another location. The Heckenfee transplants quite well, especially if you do it during the warmer spring season. Make sure the new location is prepared beforehand to ensure that the plant does not suffer from shock and begin to shed its leaves. You will want to try to get as much of the root system as possible but, in the event of a reduced root system after a transplant, you should trim back some of their leafy branches to reduce the amount of leaves and berries the system will have to support in its new location. This will also aid your holly in reestablishing its root system in its new location much faster, and help prevent the bush from losing too many leaves during the reestablishment period.
As with other species of holly bush, there are some minor concerns you should be aware of. First, the holly bush berries, while they look beautiful and inviting, are not edible and can be poisonous. The Heckenfee can also be subject to some insect infestations from spider mites and whitefly. You will want to check their leaves every couple of months in order to catch an infestation early on and prevent it from becoming worse. Potential diseases may affect your holly bush too. Leaf spot, rot, tar spot and powdery mildew are all preventable if you keep an eye on your plant throughout its lifetime.
The Heckenfee is a hardy and beautiful specimen that can enhance any small or commercial garden area. Their dark glossy leaves, small flowers and brightly colored berries bring a subtle mix of color to areas of your property that may have become a monotonous and boring. By introducing the Heckenfee to your property you are bound to enhance it ten-fold with one or more bushes while reaping the benefits of its placement for many years to come.