Ilex opacaCulture: This species prefers moist acidic soil in partial shade to full sun, although it occurs natively in shaded areas. It has definite problems with dry, windy spots, and requires good drainage. When planting, 1 male should be planted for every 3 females if fruiting is desired. Plants grown in partial to moderate shade will have a more open habit. Potential problems include holly leaf miners, bud moth, scales, beetles, cankers, dieback, whitefly, and powdery mildew. Of these, leaf miner is the most troublesome.
Usage: The American Holly is well suited to specimen use, often in groups because of the need for a pollinator. An extremely large number of cultivars exist, with newer selections being made for glossier fruits and leaves.