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Soft Touch Holly for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch'

If you've grown holly plants, you know that their leaves, while attractive, can be quite sharp. However, as the name suggests, the Soft Touch holly is unlike other holly plants in that it has soft, pliable leaves that are easy on your hands. This soft nature makes it much easier and less painful to prune and care for this plant. Soft Touch holly is also a species that maintains a compact, rounded form. This cultivar, Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch,' proves to be quite easy to care for as well, making it a great small shrub option for inexperienced gardeners. 

  • Its evergreen leaves are soft to the touch.
  • It has a compact size and consistent round form.
  • The Soft Touch holly is easy to maintain and keep healthy.
  • Ships in 1-2 days
  • 1-Year Warranty Eligible
  • Pots or accessories are not included unless specified in the product options.
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Plant Care

Sunlight

p-care-1

Soft Touch holly grows well in both full sunlight and partial shade.

Watering

p-care-2

This plant typically needs water about once per week during the growing season.

Fertilizing

p-care-3

Fertilize in spring with a balanced fertilizer, well-suited for acid-loving plants.

Planting and Care

Author Image
by John Haryasz | Horticulture Writer and Landscape Designer – last update on January 26, 2022

Planting instructions

Plant your Soft Touch holly where there is full or partial sunlight and soil that drains well. Since this species remains small throughout its life, you won’t need to worry too much about spacing. About 2 to 3 feet of space in each direction is enough to give the Soft Touch holly the room it needs to grow. Remember that, like all holly shrubs, the Soft Touch holly enjoys living in soils that are acidic, so avoid planting this species where the soil has a high pH.

Watering and nutrients

After planting your Soft Touch holly, water it often enough to keep the soil consistently moist throughout the first growing season. After this plant has established itself, you can reduce your watering schedule to about once per week. However, during heat waves and droughts, you’ll need to supply more water than usual. Fertilize your Soft Touch holly during the spring with a fertilizer that is well-suited to acid-loving plants and has equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Pollination

The Soft Touch holly plant is not a self-fertile plant. Instead, individual shrubs will hold either male or female flowers exclusively. What that means is that you’ll need both a male and a female plant if you wish to allow pollination to occur. When you have both versions of the Soft Touch holly, your plants will have the chance to cross-pollinate and produce small fruits. However, the fruits of a Soft Touch holly do not hold ornamental value, unlike other holly varieties.

Pruning

You should prune your Soft Touch holly in the winter or the early spring. When pruning, use tools that are sharp and sterile, and begin by removing any stems and branches that are dead, damaged, or diseased. You may also use your pruning cuts to train this shrub into a neater shape. However, this type of pruning is often not needed; the Soft Touch holly maintains a consistent rounded form on its own in most cases.

Pests, diseases, and animals

One of the more common issues that a Soft Touch holly can experience is a condition called chlorosis. Chlorosis occurs when Soft Touch holly shrubs live in soils that are more alkaline. Since these shrubs prefer acidic soils, higher pH levels can cause yellowing leaves. Despite that, the disease and pest concerns for Soft Touch holly are relatively low. Occasionally, this plant may experience rot, mildew, or leaf spots. Mites, aphids, and other common garden pests may also infest your plant.

Achieving maximum results

Although the Soft Touch holly is quite easy to care for and maintain, there are some insights you should keep in mind while you raise this plant. For example, the Soft Touch holly is a plant that can spread via suckering. Suckering can cause unwanted spread and can ruin the shape of your plant. During pruning, it’s often best to remove any suckers you find to keep your shrub contained and attractive. Fortunately, the softness of this plant makes pruning a painless task.

FAQs

Does the Soft Touch holly have flowers?

The main ornamental feature of the Soft Touch holly is its glossy evergreen foliage. However, these plants produce flowers as well. But although these plants do have a bloom time, the flowers are so small that you may not notice them at all. Rather than adding to the beauty of this shrub, Soft Touch holly flowers play a strictly functional role. When these flowers pollinate, they lead to small fruits that also have an unremarkable appearance.

Why is your Soft Touch holly becoming discolored?

There are a few reasons why your Soft Touch holly may begin to change colors. Typically, when discoloration occurs, it is a sign of an issue with your plant. One of the most common causes of foliage discoloration is chlorosis. However, lack of sunlight and improper watering can also cause the leaves of the Soft Touch holly to turn brown. Any time you see the leaves of this plant change colors, you should be ready to intervene and restore its health.

How large does the Soft Touch holly grow?

At maturity, a Soft Touch holly will reach about 3 feet tall. The width of these plants is often similar to the height, but in some cases, the spread may exceed the height, partly due to this plant's ability to spread via suckering. Either way, the Soft Touch holly is a small plant that fits well in many planting schemes.

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Customer Reviews

Anonymous
Verified Buyer April 19, 2021 at 3:40pm
ratingPlant review

Arrived in excellent condition and has been planted. It looks fine to this point, but it is too early to give a realistic review. Check back in 6 months.

Anonymous
Verified Buyer March 31, 2021 at 6:21pm
ratingGallon

Plant came in very healthy and plant size to what was imagined, only confusion on definition of a gallon. Containers were more the size of a quart (unsure due to shipping), and thought it would actually be bigger.

Anonymous
Verified Buyer August 19, 2020 at 10:57am
ratingHealthy plants that arrived quickly

The five soft touch hollies that I ordered arrived healthy and quickly. I watered them the day that they arrived and mudded them in with Holly Tone. They are settling in and have not even suffered transplant shock. Thanks!

Anonymous
Verified Buyer June 24, 2020 at 5:59pm
ratingSoft touch holly

I do like the holly bush, but one of mine is not doing well at all. In the description, it says it will do fine with full sun. Perhaps it's because I live in Texas, where it got very hot, early in the season. I'm hoping that if I take good care of it, it will recover. Everything else I purchased from you is doing very well.

  • deer-resistant
    Deer Resistant
Mature height
2-3 ft.
Mature width
2-3 ft.
Sunlight requirement
Full-Partial
Growth rate
Moderate
Botanical name
Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch'
Shipping exclusions
AZ,OR
Grows Well In Zones
5-9
map
Growing Zones: 5-9
(hardy down to -10°F)

Soft Touch Holly for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch'
  • Ships in 1-2 days
  • 1-Year Warranty Eligible
  • Pots or accessories are not included unless specified in the product options.
Size
Quantity
- +
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