Lower South

December, 2009
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Possumhaw Holly
Possumhaw holly (Ilex decidua) drops its leaves when winter cold arrives, to take front stage in the landscape with orange to red berries adorning leafless stems. Berries persist through the winter or until discovered by one of the many species of birds that prize them. It makes a beautiful arching shrub, reaching 15 to 25 feet in good growing conditions. This southern native is not picky about soil types and after a little supplemental watering during the first season to help it get established will do remarkably well with little care. It does well in full sun to part shade. Like other hollies, possumhaw holly plants are either male or female, with only the female plants capable of producing berries.

Tool or Gardening Product

Seed Starting Mat
When the new year arrives southern gardeners thoughts turn to starting seeds for the late winter and spring gardens. Seed starting mats provide a little warmth to get a flat of seeds off to a great start. Even in an unheated greenhouse or cold windowsill these mats will really provide a boost to the seeds turning them into transplants in no time!

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