Growing a holly tree in a container can be a challenge, particularly if you try to grow the holly tree from a seed. The growing process from a seed will take multiple years before a seedling will sprout. It is because of this that it is a better idea to start with a seedling instead of a seed when growing a holly tree in a container. The holly tree seedlings will develop into great ornamental trees in a container, as long as you provide the tree with what it needs to survive.
Selecting a Holly Tree
There are several varieties of holly trees that you can choose between. The dwarf varieties grow to be about six inches tall while holly trees can grow to over 70 feet tall. Obviously if you want to grow a holly tree in a container you will want to focus on the dwarf varieties as they are more suited to being container shrubs.
Selecting a Container
After you have a holly tree that you want to work with your next step is to find a container. The container that you select needs to be large enough to accommodate the growth of your holly tree or holly shrub. Generally a 15 to 20 gallon container is going to be large enough to handle the growth needs of a dwarf holly tree. When selecting your container make sure that it is designed for good drainage and that it is strong enough to contain your holly tree as it matures and gets taller.
Setting Up Your Container
Setting up your container for your holly tree is easy to do. To start with you will add a layer of gravel or crushed rock to the bottom of the container. This will help with drainage and it will also prevent your soil from escaping out of the drainage holes. Next you will mix an inch of coffee grounds into your potting soil. This will help with the acidity level in the soil and provide nutrients for your tree.
Planting Your Holly Tree
The next step is to plant your holly tree in your container. To do this, simply place your holly tree in the container and fill in the container with the soil/coffee ground mixture. Pat down the soil to secure the holly tree in place. Soak the holly tree and place it in the sunlight. Give your holly tree about a month to establish its root system before feeding it a balanced, basic slow release fertilizer.
General Care Tips
After your holly tree has been planted in its container it will need regular care. You will need to give it water, just enough to keep the soil moist but not muddy. You will also need to feed your holly tree once a year. Finally, you will need to prune your container grown holly tree during its non-growth seasons. This will help you to manage the size and shape of your holly tree.