Ilex crenata 'Kinme', also known as Japanese holly 'Kinme', is a small evergreen shrub that is prized for its glossy foliage and compact growth habit. Ilex crenata is native to Japan, China, and Korea. Here is a care guide for Ilex crenata 'Kinme':
1. Light: Ilex crenata 'Kinme' prefers partial to full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade. In hot climates, it may benefit from some afternoon shade.
2. Soil: Ilex crenata 'Kinme' prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including sandy and clay soils, but it does best in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
3. Water: Ilex crenata 'Kinme' prefers regular watering, but it can tolerate some drought once established. Water deeply and regularly during hot, dry weather, and avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
4. Fertiliser: Ilex crenata 'Kinme' benefits from a balanced fertiliser applied in early spring. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for application rates and timing.
5. Pruning: Ilex crenata 'Kinme' can be pruned to maintain its shape and size. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Avoid pruning in late summer or fall, as this can stimulate new growth that is vulnerable to winter damage.
6. Propagation: Ilex crenata 'Kinme' can be propagated by taking semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer or early fall. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone and plant them in well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist and provide some shade until new growth appears.
7. Pests and diseases: Ilex crenata 'Kinme' is generally resistant to pests and diseases, but it can be susceptible to root rot in poorly draining soil. Watch for signs of fungal infections such as leaf spots, and treat promptly with a fungicide if necessary.
Overall, Ilex crenata 'Kinme' is a hardy and attractive shrub that can provide year-round interest in a variety of garden settings. With proper care, it can thrive for many years.