Best Compost for Holly Trees to Boost Even Plant Growth

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If you have listened to avid gardeners, they must have told you that making your compost is the way to go, and you will need a compost-making bin. However, this might not be ideal for you, and you could want a compost-ready-made bag for your holly trees.

Compost and well-rotted manure make a great slow-release fertilizer that feeds the holly plant throughout the season. However, while fertilizing holly bushes, some fertilizers might cause the soil to become more acidic because holly shrubs prefer soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0.

However, when shopping for the best compost for holly trees, you will have a wide choice in the market. The all-purpose mix is suitable for lawns, vegetables, shrubs, borders, and beds, or you can choose a more specific option formulated for each of the above.

So, if you want to plant holly and are unsure which compost is best for you, we have you covered.

What Are Holly Trees?

Hollies are glossy, lovely, evergreen trees that make your yard more interesting year-round. Small clusters of white flowers bloom from early spring through late summer.

These can develop into the well-known, beautiful bright red berries that fall from the trees in the autumn and add a pop of color to the garden, even in the coldest winters. When planted correctly and in the appropriate area, holly trees are among the easiest and longest-lasting trees to grow.

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Holly bushes thrive well in moist, well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight and tolerate light shade, but most holly varieties will not produce fruits in shady conditions. A holly tree will also appreciate acidic soil ph of between four to six. However, overly alkaline soil can lower soil ph by adding peat moss or sulfur.

1. FoxFarm Happy Frog Nutrient Rich and pH Adjusted Rapid Growth

FoxFarm FX14054 Happy Frog Nutrient Rich and pH Adjusted Rapid Growth Garden Potting Soil Mix is...
  • CONTENTS: Unique mix is alive with beneficial soil microbes and mycorrhizal fungi that dramatically expand root...
  • PH ADJUSTED: pH adjusted to allow for maximum nutrient uptake and is fluffy, well-aerated with perlite and peat for...
  • BENEFITS: Benefits include vigorous vegetative growth, with enhanced fruit & flower production and help plants feed...
  • EASY TO USE: Light textured and well aerated and is ready to use right out of the bag making it the perfect...
  • SIZE: The 12 quarts of premium potting soil has everything you need for gardening. Bag dimensions (LxWxH): 18 x 14...

Last update on 2024-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our last recommendation is the perfect option for anyone looking for the best compost to achieve a perfect ph balance for your holly tree. This is important since a holly tree needs a well-balanced soil ph to achieve healthy plant growth.

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If your garden soil is too acidic, the holly plant will not flourish and could even die. So, this compost is one of the best options since it is ph adjusted for optimal growth. A well-balanced ph helps to allow your holly plant to take in the maximum amount of nutrients from the soil and water.

The product also contains soil microbes and mycorrhizal fungi, which help to strengthen root development in all plant types. You will also like that the holly plant is lightly textured and well-aerated, meaning you can use it for trees, hedges, borders, and raised beds.


  • The product is ph adjusted to give you maximum nutrient intake
  • It contains peat and perlite
  • Light-textured and well-aerated product
  • Improves fruit and flower production
  • It has beneficial soil microbes and mycorrhizal fungi
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use


  • It doesn't have a good drainage

2. Espoma Organic Berry Tone Compost

Espoma Organic Berry-Tone 4-3-4 Natural & Organic Fertilizer and Plant Food for All Berries. 4 lb....
  • FOR USE ON: Use Berry-tone organic fertilizer for all berries including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and...
  • CONTAINS: Berry-tone is a rich blend of the finest natural & organic ingredients enhanced with our exclusive...
  • WHEN / HOW TO USE: Best to use Berry-tone fertilizer when planting or feeding established plants; most berries are...
  • FOR ORGANIC GARDENING: Berry-tone is approved for organic gardening; It is a registered Organic Input Material...
  • MADE IN THE USA: Product of the Espoma Company. The leader in natural organics since 1929

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our top pick for our holly bushes was this Espoma Organic Berry Tone since our main aim was to achieve a bountiful harvest. However, we also realized it was multipurpose and could be used for all berries, including blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Although we used to get plenty of blooms, after using this compost, our holly tree produced more berries than ever while sending out new leaves.

We were impressed with this product since it blended the best natural and organic ingredients, which is improved by the exclusive Bio-tone formula. The product is also straightforward as it comes ready to use and needs no mixing before you use it, making your work easier.

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Lastly, Espoma Organic Berry Tone compost is pet and kid-friendly, meaning it's safe for your kids and pets to be around the garden after you use it. It also meets organic production requirements meaning it has been approved for organic gardening.


  • Pet and kid-friendly
  • Environmentally safe since it doesn't have toxic ingredients
  • Ready to use and doesn't need any mixing
  • It can be used on all berries
  • Made in the USA


  • Some customers say it has a terrible smell

3. Espoma Organic Holly-tone Organic Compost

Espoma Organic Holly-tone 4-3-4 Natural & Organic Evergreen & Azalea Plant Food; 8 lb. Bag; The...
  • THE ORIGINAL: Holly-tone is the original plant food for all acid loving plants. Holly-tone’s natural organics...
  • FOR USE ON: Not just for Holly; Use Holly-tone organic fertilizer for azaleas, hydrangeas, rhododendrons,...
  • CONTAINS: Holly-tone is a rich blend of the finest natural & organic ingredients enhanced with our exclusive...
  • WHEN / HOW TO USE: Best to use Holly-tone fertilizer spring and fall on flowering & evergreen shrubs. For berries...
  • FOR ORGANIC GARDENING: Holly-tone is approved for organic gardening; It is a registered Organic Input Material...

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Are you looking for the best compost that will work on all acid-loving plants? We found this Espoma Organic Holly Tone to be the best in the market. It has natural organics which slowly break down to give long-lasting storage of plant nutrients.

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The compost is a blend of the best natural and organic ingredients improved with the exclusive Bio-tone formula and the 4-3-4 Fertilizer analysis with 5% sulfur. We also noticed that the compost is environmentally safe since it doesn't have toxic ingredients or sludges.

You will also love that it can be used not only on holly bushes but also on other plants that thrive on acidic soils, such as evergreens, azaleas, blueberries, rhododendrons, camellias, and strawberries. For these dark red berries, use this compost in the early and late spring, where you should apply it to the surrounding soil and water thoroughly.


  • Ready to use, and it needs no mixing
  • A perfect blend of natural and organic ingredients
  • It gives a lasting reservoir of plant nutrients
  • Environmentally safe with no toxic ingredients or sludges
  • Made in the USA


  • It might be too dusty, and you might need to wear a mask during the application

4. Safer Brand 94AH Azalea & Holly Restore Fertilizer

Safer Brand 94AH Azalea & Holly Restore Fertilizer, Yellow
  • Fertilizer nourishes and enhances acid-loving plants like holly and azaleas
  • Delivers a slow release of nutrients to aid fruit and flower quality
  • Non-burning formula can be applied any time during the growing season
  • Easy to use – apply at planting and again every 6 weeks
  • Contains no manure and bears no manure odor

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You should choose this Safer Brand 94AH compost if you want one that nourishes and enhances your holly bushes into lush and beautiful plants. The compost is full of soil microbes that help to nourish but slowly release nutrients that will help your fruit and flower quality. This will produce berries and give you vibrant and healthy plants.

Your holly bushes will bloom thanks to the balanced proportion of nutrients that guarantee a uniform feeding of plants. One of the key nutrients this product contains is nitrogen which guarantees the healthy growth of your plants. The other is phosphate which ensures your holly bush produces beautiful blooms.

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Most customers also love that it can be used throughout the growing season since it can weather all stressful conditions like cold, heat, and drought. This is because it can strengthen new seeding, new plantings, and root systems. In addition, the potent formula combines high-quality protein ingredients and doesn't have manure and hence doesn't have an unpleasant odor.

In addition, although this compost has a powerful formulation, we recommend it if you are looking for a pet and kid-friendly option since it's OMRI listed for compliant use in an organic garden. The ingredients will also not burn your plants or prevent your soil from getting nutrients.


  • Kid and pet-friendly option
  • Non-burning and manure-free ingredients
  • It doesn't have an unpleasant manure odor
  • You can apply it in all growth stages, including the growing season
  • OMRI Listed


  • It might attract some bugs

5. Four Shovels Pure Organic Ready Use Compost

Dough-Joe Shogun Pizza Steel Baking Sheet-"The Shogun"-15" x 15" x 3/8"-24 -pound carbon steel, Made...
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  • Matte finish surface allows steam to channel away quickly and keeps a nice appearance.

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If the bad smell is something you would like to avoid when using compost for your holly tree, then we couldn't find a better option than this Four Shovels Pure Organic compost. With this little compost, you are guaranteed to get odor-free compost.

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This product is a perfect all-purpose mix suitable for an organic garden and can be used on holly bushes, shrubs, fruits, flowers, vegetables, and hedges. It helps retain moisture levels in all soil types, encouraging growth in the root zone. Also, the ready-to-use rich dark compost contains no chemicals, pesticides, or agricultural runoff.


  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Ideal for growing trees, fruits, large shrubs, and vegetables
  • It helps to retain moisture levels
  • No odor
  • No chemicals or pesticides


  • It is only suitable for plants with an alkaline soil

Why Do You Need Compost for your Holly Trees?

Holly bushes with bright red berries

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Gardening is enjoyable and fulfilling. However, your ordinary garden soil might not always be the best for promoting the best plant growth. For example, you may notice that your home doesn’t have fertile soil; nothing seems to grow, and compost is one of the necessary adjustments to prompt new growth.

There are several benefits of using compost for your holly plant, and they include the following:

  • It adds vital nutrients easily to enrich and feed your soil

  • It can help to reduce holly plant diseases and repel pests

  • Organic compost can utilize natural waste, which is great for the planet

  • Compost can speed up holly plant growth by giving it access to nutrients

  • It encourages fungi and bacteria production, which breaks down organic matter to create humus which boosts and strengthens your root growth

  • Compost helps to aerate the soil and thus improve drainage, which is important for a holly tree

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Compost for Holly Trees

Holly bushes with red berries

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1. Size of Bag

When choosing the best compost for Holly trees, the size and cost are important considerations. Although a bag may be cheaper, you could notice that it will have a small amount of compost inside. So, it would be best if you compared to get the best value for your money.

2. Pellets or Lose Components

Sometimes compost will be compacted soil pellets which will cause less of a mess when pouring out of the bag than with loose components. However, the pellets usually need more water to soak them before breaking down and releasing their nutrients into the soil.

3. Bug Repelling Capability

Only a few compost brands claim to repel gnats and bugs actively. So, when opening a compost bag, ensure there will be no small creatures running around. Luckily, most of the best compost to grow holly trees should never introduce bugs to your soil.

4. Type of Bag Sealer

This is an important factor since compost left in an open bag can easily dry out fast when exposed to air, causing it to lose effectiveness when used. Therefore, check the compost packaging, where some compost bags have air-tight seals.

If you don’t choose compost packaging with an air-tight seal, consider storing your leftover compost in an air-tight drum or a compost bin. To help boost moisture, you can apply a layer of wood chips on the soil surface, and you can also use stone mulch.

5. Odor-Free

Some composts are made with potent ingredients that have a strong odor, especially when they are wet. This mainly applies to goods that include worm castings or dung in them.

After some time, you’ll notice that the smell disappears. If you have an issue with odors, opt for a compost mix that claims to be odor-free.

Conclusion on the Best Compost for Holly Trees

holly tree

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When you grow holly trees in the best compost, it enriches your garden soil and helps the holly bushes to retain moisture. When you fertilize holly bushes regularly using the best compost produces good color, even growth, and improved disease and pest resistance.

Holly fertilization is best when done in the fall and spring. Do it during the spring season when the shrubs are starting to sprout new growth or during the fall season after new growth slows down.

We hope our review for the best holly trees compost has helped you narrow your choices for maximum berry production.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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