Simple but beautiful evergreen shrubs are a vital part of any garden, but many grow too big for smaller spaces, and can need a lot of trimming. Especially in smaller gardens, and for enclosed parts of your garden, there is a real need for small, attractive evergreens that look great all year round, don’t take up too much room or need constant trimming, and that can be grown in the ground or in boxes. Now we have the answer. For small spaces in your garden, or in boxes beside the door or on your patio, we are thrilled to be able to offer you the Patti O Box™ Japanese Holly. This cute little lady will bring you just the green accent you want, without growing too large, and without needing lots of care – perfect for a busy gardener in a small town-garden, or even if you only have a balcony and want some permanent planting that won’t need any significant work.
A special form of the popular and tough Japanese holly, the Patti O Box™ Holly is a narrow, upright plant with very small, rich-green leaves packed closely on a dense, upright bush. It grows just 3 or 4 feet tall, and it is only a foot or two wide at the base, with a narrow pyramidal form. The small leaves are perfectly scaled for this small plant, which will always look neat and perfect, growing in a bed with other small shrubs as an upright accent, or in boxes to stand beside a doorway or gateway, or on the corners of a small terrace. You can grow it alone for a simple, elegant look, or plant annual flowers around it. You can also use this great plant in larger boxes, with other, lower plants, such as Encore Azaleas for example, to give flowers over months and months. Create a tiny hedge at the back of a bed, or along a narrow pathway.
Growing Patti O Box™ Japanese Holly Bushes
The Patti O Box Japanese Holly has a narrow, upright form, growing in time to 3 or 4 feet tall. It has a very slim pyramidal shape, and it can be 1 to 2 feet wide at the base, and just a few inches wide at the top. The leaves are very small, just 1½ inches long, and ½ an inch wide. They are a slightly square oval, with an occasional tiny spine or two on some leaves, but mostly smooth. The color is a deep, rich green, without the bluish tone of many Japanese holly bushes. The plant is very bushy, and over time develops a dense form. Flowers and berries are not produced. Trimming is not needed to keep the neat form, but you can trim the tips of the shoots if you want to develop a denser form a bit sooner.
Planting and Initial Care
Grow the Patti O Box Japanese Holly in full sun or partially-shaded places. It will also grow in full shade beneath an open sky, such as along a north-facing wall or fence, clear of overhanging trees. It grows easily in almost any garden soil, just as long as it is not constantly wet. It prefers some moisture, so add compost or another organic material to very sandy soils, to help retain moisture. Water regularly when young, and more established plants will have some moderate drought resistance. It has no particular pests or diseases, and plants usually remain healthy with no special attention at all.
When growing in boxes, make sure your box or pot has drainage holes, and use a regular potting soil, preferably blended for outdoor planters, to fill the box, not garden soil. Water when the top inch of soil has become dry, and always water until some runs away out of the drainage hole. Use a liquid fertilizer for evergreen shrubs regularly, from spring to early fall.
History and Origins of the Patti O Box™ Japanese Holly
The Patti O Box Japanese Holly was created by Michael Farrow, the owner of Holly Hill Farms, in Earleville, Maryland. In 1999 he collected some berries from a plant of the Japanese holly variety ‘Sky Pencil’, that grew among other types of Japanese Holly bushes. The variety ‘Sky Pencil’ has an illustrious parentage, because it came from a plant collected on Mount Daisen, in Japan. That mountain is sacred to Buddhists, and closely protected, but the Japanese botanist Norihiro Shibamichi, had been allowed to collect plants there, and he found a unique, narrow and upright form of Japanese holly growing only on the mountain. He gave it eventually to the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, and they released it to nurseries. This fabulous plant is in effect the big mother of the Patti O Box Japanese Holly, and we strongly recommend ‘Sky Pencil’ if you are looking for a larger, upright holly for your garden or in boxes.
Among the many seedlings Michael Farrow grew, one caught his eye for its tiny, deep green leaves, dense branching, and very narrow upright shape and miniature form. After extensive growing and testing, he patented the plant in 2015, with the name ‘FarrowSK6’. He granted Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan the license of the patent. Our plants are carefully produced under that license, and they are 100% identical to the original seedling. We know just how great the need is for small, neat evergreens for boxes and gardens, so our stock will soon be gone. Order now while supplies remain available.