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Soft Touch Holly

Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch'


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-t- Planting Mix
Soft Touch Holly Planting Mix

Helps your Soft Touch Holly get established in a fraction of the time, become more drought tolerant, and grow faster. Here's how:

Beneficial Bacteria... It's like a Probiotic for your tree... creating an explosion of fine hair roots that vastly improves nutrient and water uptake.

Course Organic Compost... loosens and improves all types of soils while promoting proper pH levels. You get better drainage and moisture retention.

Microbial Fertilizers... including Sea Kelp, Yucca, and 100 other elements proven to gently feed your tree without burning the roots.

Use 1 bag of Planting Mix for each plant ordered.

Soil Contents
-t- Root Rocket™ Fertilizer
Root Rocket™ Transplant Fertilizer

2oz. Packet

Get your new plants off to the right start by using Root Rocket™ Transplant.

This soil amendment contains 16 strains of mycorrhizal fungi, biostimulants, beneficial bacteria and Horta-Sorb® water management gel.

Simply sprinkle the product into the planting hole adjacent to the root ball when planting.

The organisms will start to work right away supplying the roots with much needed nutrition.

The specially formulated Horta-Sorb® will reduce transplant stress and aid in water retention.

1 packet per plant

Root Rocket Fertilizer

Growing Zones: 5-9
(hardy down to -10℉)

Growing Zones 5-9
You are in Growing Zone: 6

Mature Height:

2-3 ft.

Mature Width:

2 ft.


Full Sun, Partial Sun


3-5 ft.

Growth Rate:


Drought Tolerance:


Botanical Name:

Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch'

Does Not Ship To:


A Holly that Won't Scrape You!

The Soft Touch Holly is quickly becoming a popular shrub choice due to its small size and soft, flexible foliage.

No more worries about being pricked by holly leaves with this one! Small, glossy leaves are accented by tiny flowers in the spring and black colored berries in the fall and winter... attracting all kinds of birds to your landscape.

Mature height of 2-3 feet makes this shrub an ideal selection for gardeners with limited space and works well as a border or foundation plant.

It's uniform, rounded habit also makes this a low maintenance choice for those who want a polished landscape without all the work.

Prefers partial to full sun. Tolerant of various types of soil, as well as drought. A good shrub selection for zones 5-9

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Customer Reviews

4.5 / 5.0
10 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Stars
Growth Rate
Growth Rate
easy care
The soft holly has is doing extremely well this summer. We have had many harsh storms and now high heat temps.
They are also very easy care and keeping their ball like shape. I am thinking of ordering a few more.
July 26, 2015
1 year ago
Growing Zone:
Growth Rate
I've only had these a couple months and there is already significant new growth. They arrived in the mail healthy, moist and well packed. Following the planting instructions I got them in the ground and they are a nice addition to my front yard.
July 29, 2015
Growing Zone:
Growth Rate
Bright green, thriving well
We planted this in our apt garden in May in a couple of areas and happy to report that the shrub is doing well both in the sunny and shadier areas. It hasn't grown much yet but is a constant bright green. Staying in its round shrub shape.
July 28, 2015
brooklyn, NY
Growth Rate
Soft Touch Holly is just what I was looking for.
This Holly is like no other. It works great in my new rock garden!
July 24, 2015
Sterling, MA
over 2 years ago
Growing Zone:
very clean and keeps its shape
The plant looked like deer food so I did not place where I intended. It is very healthy and fits in nicely with other plants
July 27, 2015
Growth Rate
They seem to be struggling a bit
I purchased 6 of the 1 gallon size, along with the root rocket fertilizer, in early June. They arrived very well packaged and in good shape. Followed all planting instructions. Three of the plants have dead areas on them now (it's mid-July). But they get some pretty intense afternoon Nevada sun so I have been giving them additional water in the afternoon after they get watered by the sprinkler system in the morning. Not every day, but maybe 3 days a week. Some of the plants are still very green and showing signs of growth. I'm hoping the others will rally and survive. I will give another update when we get into later summer/fall.
July 15, 2016
Reno, NV
Growing Zone:
Growth Rate
Although I just received these over the last two weeks,
I am very happy with them and am looking forward to seeing them mature. And as with my last order I am very impressed with the way they are shipped. I would recommend to anyone.
July 27, 2016
Revere, MA
9 months ago
Growing Zone:
Growth Rate
Soft Touch Holly
It is OK. Not growing to fast, but is very green and healthy.
July 29, 2016
Greensburg, PA
11 months ago
Growing Zone:
Will buy again
Plants arrived fast and well packaged. Too soon to say anything regarding the plants development but stiil alive.
October 7, 2016
Killeen, TX
7 months ago
Growing Zone:
Growth Rate
Arrived timely. Ordered five. One was completely smashed but seems to be doing ok.
May 18, 2016
New London, IA
12 months ago
Growing Zone:

Planting & Care

It's Easy to Plant & Care for Your Soft Touch Holly

Soft Touch Holly Planting Diretions

Likes full sun, but will take afternoon shade in the south. Plant 2-2 ½ feet apart for a solid hedge, and 3 ½ feet apart if you want differentiation between plants. It will grow happily in most any kind of soil as long as it has good drainage, but it grows fastest in a moist, well-drained, fertile soil. The first season, it needs an inch of water a week, whether from rain or from your hose; after the roots are established, it needs water only during severe drought. 3 to 4 inches of mulch is beneficial.

Questions & Answers

Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 26 questions Browse 26 questions and 74 answers
Why did you choose this?
Fast-Growing-Trees.com Store
Compact size and price.
Cindy D on Apr 25, 2017
Love the small form
Mari F on Apr 14, 2017
Compact size and price.
Cindy D on Apr 25, 2017
The hollies are the perfect size & color! Plus they will hold the soil on the steep hill. They will be planted as a border beside the steps of our driveway.
brenda t on Apr 25, 2017
Love the small form
Mari F on Apr 14, 2017
low growing for under window
joanne h on Apr 13, 2017
Wanted a low growing shrub that would keep its shape without a lot of pruning.
Christine B on Apr 1, 2017
Customer wanted rugged look
cismetguss m on Jan 11, 2017
Will look great as foundation planting in front of porch.
Richard R on Dec 31, 2016
purchased for some rental property. Looked like it would go well with the landscaping.
Venus G on Oct 8, 2016
local nurseries only had 5 gallon. the hole could only be dug for a 1 gallon, due to irragation pipe.
Jan B on Oct 5, 2016
I wanted something to fill in a small space in the bed bounded by the sidewalk, the front steps, and the porch. won't grab at visitor's clothing or scratch my grandson when he tries to cut the corner.
Bernice W on Oct 4, 2016
Low-growing; no maintenance.
Kathleen M on Sep 24, 2016
Color shape. No trimming. Small flowers spring.
Pamela L on Sep 14, 2016
Wanted small evergreen in front of retaining wall of rose garden
Patricia W on Sep 5, 2016
Right size and maintenance looked real good also. I liked the soft leaves and the touch of small flowers that was also nice; They should look great mixed with my double knock out rose.
Donald E. Clark C on Sep 1, 2016
Cost on sale and slow growing.
James D on Aug 30, 2016
Soft Touch Holly is a nice size, needs no pruning and is a lovely green color. It is just what I was looking for to put in my garden area.
Diana D on Aug 24, 2016
Loved the fact that these are very tolerable of full sun exposure. We've established a bed along the driveway that includes the autumn embers encore azalea and the red rhododendron that should offer a perennial green exposure with bright colored flowers through 6-8 months of the year.
Jack B on Aug 22, 2016
Needed something evergreen that was small, easily managed and fairly deer resistant.
DONNA P on Aug 20, 2016
i was looking low maintance shrubs & after reading the reviews from other customers this was what i have been looking for. thank you Pam.
dennis h on Jun 20, 2016
was looking for shade tolerant evergreen for small garden pathway
Alice M on Apr 18, 2016
Want to change out my current prickly rose bushes for something a little friendlier!
MARLA V on Apr 17, 2016
We needed low growing shrubs as our front windows are long. I hope they work out. We've ordered other items which have not survived so we're taking a chance.
Rebecca A on Mar 10, 2016
size for area and are doing fantastic
Donald W on Jan 26, 2016
Wanted small shrubs that fit along an entrance way, and super bonus that has berries attractive to birds. Liked size and that is soft to touch, since beside walkway.
Ruth C on Nov 15, 2015
For the nice round shape and soft tough
Robin S on Nov 5, 2015
It remains green all year and has soft leaves.
Kerry S on Oct 8, 2015
Needed something that wouldn't get to crazy and its size should match for the place I need it.
Joey H on Aug 31, 2015
The hollies are the perfect size & color! Plus they will hold the soil on the steep hill. They will be planted as a border beside the steps of our driveway.
brenda t on Apr 25, 2017
low growing for under window
joanne h on Apr 13, 2017
how much does it grow per year?
A shopper on Jul 17, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Soft Touch is a fairly slow grower, achieving 6 to8 inches of growth a year, until it reaches about 2 1/2 feet. It will keep growing, but very slowly until it is around 3 feet tall and a bit wider. Please keep in mind that the growth rate of any plant is affected by growing conditions, so these are approximate figures!
what are the approximate dimensions of soft touch holly in the 1 gallon pot?
Jenna F on Aug 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER: The gallon sizes are listed because we cannot guarantee what height they will be. The heights can vary from 6-12 inches and up.
Is this soft touch holly deer resistant?
A shopper on Oct 9, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Soft Touch is fairyly deer resistant. A hungry deer will eat anything, but this will be low down on their list..
Will it do well in afternoon sun?
Judith K on Apr 2, 2015
BEST ANSWER: This Soft Touch Holly is quite adaptable and will take full sun to almost full shade and still look good. I am assuming from your question that it has morning shade and afternoon sun, which should be fine. If it gets extremely hot and dry, you might need to give it a little water to keep the hot afternoon sun from affecting it, but your plant should be fine. It does require good drainage, so be sure your site meets this need.
My potted Soft Touch Holly is dropping it's green leaves?
A shopper on Sep 30, 2014
BEST ANSWER: My holly arrived and it was beautiful. It lived for about 6 months. I guess Texas heat did the plant in...
How much should you water soft touch holly shrubs?
A shopper on Sep 16, 2014
BEST ANSWER: The Soft Touch Holly needs frequent watering. I would say weekly or more often in times of extreme heat. As they get more mature you will need to water less.
Is soft touch holly an evergreen?
J G on Sep 5, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, living here on the central Oregon Coast, zone 9, soft touch holly is an evergreen. It's new growth is a beautiful light green that contrasts well with other shrubs and flowers.
Can I plant the soft touch holly in the fall?
janet e on Aug 11, 2014
BEST ANSWER: In a word , Yes. The best time to plant is in the spring or fall. The biggest risk to either spring or fall is the season that follows . If you plant in the spring you risk a hot dry summer . Regular watering mitigate this risk If you plant I'm the fall you risk brutal cold. You can wrap the planting with burlap to mitigate this risk.
Will it be ok to grow in Zone 10?
gugu77 on Sep 7, 2016
BEST ANSWER: The growing zones a 5-9, so I would not recommend them for a zone 10.
I would like to plant this in mostly shade It will have a tad of morning sun in the summer. The soil will be moist most of the time. Will this be okay?
Lissa W on Apr 24, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Mine get only some afternoon sun. Maybe 4-5 hours. However, they have not grown very much.
Does it have berries it's branches?
Nana A on Apr 3, 2017
BEST ANSWER: No. What you see is what you get. Small, grows no more than 14 inches high (at least mine haven't). Very small petals, no berries.
I want something that's going to stay small and not crowd my flower bed. Is it recommended to trim this? How often would i need to trim to keep it small?
Sindi W on May 13, 2016
BEST ANSWER: The Soft touch holly I purchased hasn't exceeded 6" from the time I planted them, they also don't seem to be a very hardy plant. They have potential to be a really pretty plant if they survive the first six months of growth.
I want to plant these in a 'full' sun area (Virginia). Will they thrive?
Thanks, Renee
Renee E on Aug 1, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I just planted mine this summer in full sun, and they have survived even with days without watering after planting because of being away. I would think they would thrive in your area.
Can this shrub be pruned formally, like a boxwood (buxus)?
Katie on Sep 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I bought four of these early this year. They are pretty much self maintaining. If you do feel the need to prune them, it won't be much. They grow into a its own manicured look. They have hardy thick leaves. The shape of the leaf is gorgeous.
Does this holly plant keeps its leaves during a winter climate with snow?
jason m on Mar 31, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I live in a rainy climate where the temperatures drop down to the 30's in the winter. This is the 1st winter for my holly plants (6 of them) and they did not lose leaves, they looked great all winter!
Does deer like this plant?
Snicker on Jan 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I do not believe so. I have had mind planted for two winters and no deers yet.
what is the color of this shrub in the fall?
Chang J on Jun 5, 2015
BEST ANSWER: It stays green - luv this plant
do deer like it? It looks very edible
Marti on May 13, 2015
BEST ANSWER: This plant is considered deer resistant. That being said, a hungry deer will eat most anything, though Soft Touch will be fairly low on their list.
Does it fair well in wet soil?
Wanderson S on Jan 8, 2017
BEST ANSWER: It prefers moist well drained soil.
will soft touch holly grow by cuttings?
nazim m on Nov 28, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, you can propagate Soft Touch Holly cuttings
Does the soft Holly need a male and female to flower?
Patricia L on Oct 10, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Soft Touch Holly's are Dioecious, having both male and female parts
Is this a female plant?
Jason A on Sep 5, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Soft Touch Holly's are Dioecious, having both male and female parts.
Can Soft Touch Holly be planted in the ground in early September?
Diana D on Aug 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes you can plant them in September.
do you have the larger size - 2 or 3 gal japanese soft touch holly??
A shopper on Jun 19, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Currently we only have the Soft Touch Holly (the Ilex crenata or 'Japanese' variety) in the 3 gallon size.
would this do go in a gravelly soiled area?
sherr on Feb 24, 2017

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