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Dwarf Yaupon Holly Bonsai Care

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General Information:

The botanical name for this particular specie of holly is Ilex vomitoria nana or Dwarf Yaupon Holly.  It is one of eleven hollies native to Florida.  It usually grows as a shrub but occasionally may be found as a tree.  Its foliage consists of dark green evergreen oval to egg-shaped leaves.  Female varieties of this holly bear fruit in the fall which is red and are only about 1/4" in diameter.

Lighting:

It will grow in full shade to full sun, but the more light it has the more dense its foliage will be.

Feeding:

It should be given half strength liquid fertilizer every two or three weeks.  It prefers an evenly balanced (20 20-20) fertilizer but is not too choosy.

Pruning and Wiring:

Its new growth shows a strong tendency to upwards growth and must either be wired horizontal or pruned to retain shape.  When pruned it will burst forth profusely with new thick growth throughout the growing season.

Pests and Diseases:

The only pest which seems to attack the Ilex vomitoria nana is the leaf miner.  It is a very small creature which literally mines the interior of leaves, leaving a black trail where it has eaten the nutrients.  Infestations can be prevented with a preventive spray of a systemic insecticide.  (A systemic insecticide is one which enters the system of the plant and remains active there for an extended period of time, killing any sucking type of insect.)  If a leaf becomes infected with a leaf miner, it will never repair itself and should be removed. 

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