For those of us who live in the mid-Atlantic or Southeast where summers are hot and humid there are a limited number of dwarf evergreen shrubs that we can grow in a rock garden. ‘Dwarf Pagoda’ is a treasure for such a garden with its tiny dark green round leaves and picturesque, irregular plant growth that gives it great character as it ages. The branches are horizontal on compact plants and bear masses of tiny leaves. Black berries follow the white flowers as this particular kind of holly is female. Its slow growth makes a good not only for a rock garden but also for a container, and its unique growth habit makes it a natural bonsai.

Type: Evergreen shrub

Outstanding Feature: Small size, small leaves, irregular growth habit

Form: Irregular

Growth Rate: Slow

Bloom: Small white flowers in summer may be followed by black berries

Size: 1’ tall in 10 years

Light: Sun to part shade

Soil: Average, well-drained, moderately acidic

Hardiness: Zones 6-8

Care: Low maintenance; may be pruned to achieve the desired shape.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Cuttings

Comments: May grow more rapidly in rich soil.

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By Karen