- Inkberry Holly:
- Pruning should be done in early spring, just before new growth emerges, but pruning needs are minimal unless you use the shrubs in a hedge.
- Prune at least once a year.
- Remove any dead or dying branches completely, where they meet healthy growth.
- Maintenance pruning is usually needed to address legginess in the species. As the plant matures and becomes thin, remove up to one-third of the branches to their points of origin in early spring.
- Blue Holly:
- Remove dead or diseased branches when noticed.
- In late winter, before new growth emerges, thin out branches if plants appear overgrown.
- Unless you use them in a hedge, these shrubs look best when the pruning is not too noticeable. To accomplish this, stagger the depth of your cuts.
- Japanese Holly:
- Tolerate heavier pruning than many other evergreen varieties.
- In late winter or early spring, remove dead, broken, or diseased branches.
- If plants are too dense or overgrown, cut out up to 1/3 of the branches back to the main stem.
- Mounding and spreading types can be kept sheared like boxwood as formal hedging.
- These can also be rejuvenated by cutting the entire plant back to a few inches above the ground.
- Winterberry Holly:
- Prune in late winter or early spring before leaves emerge.
- Remove dead growth, broken and crossing branches, and lightly shape as needed.
- To thin and rejuvenate, remove 1/3 of older branches (which should be at least an inch in diameter) at ground level to stimulate new growth.
- Avoid pruning any Holly in late summer and fall.