English holly, or Ilex aquifolium, naturally occurs in Asia, Europe and North Africa. Winter hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9, this holly species does not grow well in locations with extremely cold winters or hot, humid summers. Mature plants can be trained into tall shrubs that range from 10 to 15 feet in height.
English holly features deep green, glossy leaves with spiny teeth. White flowers bloom in May, giving way to red drupes that last into winter. This holly shrub attracts several pests, including spider mites, scale, whiteflies and holly leaf miners.
Common diseases include powdery mildew, tar spot, leaf spot and leaf rot. English holly plants are also susceptible to leaf scorch, leaf drop and chlorosis, or yellowing of the leaves.
Use these shrubs where you need a splash of color in a winter landscape.