Ilex opaca or American Holly is a fast-growing tree native to North America. It can be used for bonsai and grows to a height of 10-20 ft, making it suitable for gardens, lawns and parks. It needs full sun or partial shade for optimal growth and should be watered regularly (moderate water requirement). During its blooming season, Ilex opaca produces white, off-white flowers, which are followed by berries with a beautiful, shiny red coloration, being used as a traditional Christmas decoration. Its foliage is ornamental, though younger trees may have thorns and spines on branches.
Ilex opaca is cold hardy and can be grown in USD Zones 5-10. To grow this tree in a pot in cold areas, select a container with a drainage hole and fill it good potting mix. Make sure the container is kept in a sheltered location and water the tree regularly. Although Ilex opaca is cold hardy, extra protection from cold can be provided by wrapping the pot with a blanket or bubble wrap when temperatures plummet.