Soft Touch Holly -

(Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch')

Shrubs


Other Common Names: Japanese Holly, Boxleaf Holly
Family: Aquifoliaceae Genus: Ilex Species: crenata Cultivar: 'Soft Touch'
Soft Touch HollySoft Touch HollySoft Touch HollySoft Touch Holly
Gardenality.com Planted · 11 years ago
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Soft Touch Holly Overview

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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Problems
I haven't seen any serious pest or disease problems with Soft Touch Holly. Overly wet soil can cause problems with the roots. Provide supplemental water during prolonged periods of dry weather.

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Planting
Plant Soft Touch holly in well-drained soil in either full sun or partial shade. Consistently wet soils can cause problems with the roots.

To plant, dig a hole no deeper than the root ball and two to three times the width of the root ball and fill it with water. If the hole drains within a few hours, you have good drainage. If the water is still standing 12 hours later, improve the drainage in your bed, perhaps by establishing a raised bed. Turn and break up the soil removed from the planting hole. If the native soil is compacted or heavy clay amend with organic compost or a good soil amendment at a 50/50 ratio. Remove your plant from its container and carefully but firmly loosen the root ball. Set the plant into the hole you've prepared, making sure the top of the root ball is slightly above the soil level. Pull your backfill soil mixture around the root ball in the hole, tamping as you go to remove air pockets. Then water thoroughly and cover with a one to two-inch layer of mulch

7 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Planting
Plant Soft Touch Holly in well-drained soil in either full sun or partial shade. This is one of the best choices among evergreen shrubs for foundation plantings. It has a low-growing habit (under 3') so is a great choice for planting other low windows.

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Pruning
You can let Soft Touch Holly grow naturally, where it will grow into a soft-textured semi-formal mound, or you can shear it for a more formal look.

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Feeding
Feed Soft Touch Holly in early spring and again in late summer with a well-balanced shrub fertilizer that contains iron and/or sulfur to keep foliage dark green.

8 years ago ·
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Donna Ansted

Donna Ansted · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Problems
We have about a dozen soft tough holly in our garden. A couple a completely dead and many are partially dead. We do water our gardens daily during the hot days of summer in the Carolinas. I am going to replace the completely dead shrubs and trim out the dead parts of the others. We won't water daily in those zones but as needed. I am most baffled by that fact that we also planted lariope grass along the border and it has completely disappeared. This is in an elevated bed along the driveway.

7 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Problems
I've been hearing the same about dying Soft Touch Holly from many folks this year (2012). Typically, the Japanese hollies (Ilex crenata) can suffer from constantly wet soil or constantly dry soil. They prefer a moist but well-draining soil. If yours are in a raised bed there shouldn't be the problem with soggy soil. And, since you've been watering during the hot summer months it shouldn't be dry soil. So I'm not sure what is causing this problem?

Saturated soil and warm temperatures do promote the growth of the pathogens, Pythium and Phytophtora Root Rot: which attacks a plant if there are fungal spores in the soil and the plant is overwatered, creating a high moisture level. If the plant has the root rot the roots turn black and break. Leaves turn yellow and fall off, usually from the bottom up. Unfortunately, there is no chemical treatment for root rot. Check the roots of the ones you have, to determine if this is the cause.

If not root rot, we have had exceptionally long and hot summers the past two years in the Southeast. Perhaps this cultivar is having problems with the heat? That being said, we've been selling and successfully growing the Soft Touch Holly in many landscapes for over the past 15 years and have seen no problems until just recently. I talked with my younger brother about this, who runs our landscape installation business, and he said it is hit or miss with the Soft Touch Holly. Some landscapes it is doing fine in, while others it is not. Makes me think its a soil issue rather than a temperature issue.

Anway, if I get any solid information as to the cause of this problem I'll be sure to come back here and let you know. In any event, if your Soft Touch Hollies do not make it I would heavily suggest replacing them with a different variety of plant....definitely no plants in the Ilex crenata species. Maybe take a look at Bordeaux Yaupon Holly, which can handle moist or dry soil, or some of the dwarf Abelias, such as 'Rose Creek', or Dwarf Nandina, such as 'Harbour Dwarf'.

7 years ago ·
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