This dwarf, low mounding holly keeps its rounded shape, requires minimal pruning and is best used as a foundation planting, a border or perfect for the medium or low portion in a step-down plan. Landscapers like it for its deep green, glossy leaves that complement lighter shrubs when planted next to them. This lively evergreen needs very little maintenance to keep a sharp look—and sharp is what you need to keep in mind as you handle them, because the leaves have a needlelike point on the ends. It may be wise to set a low-growing ground cover in front of them to give passersby a buffer zone.
At 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide it is also adapted to both sun and shade, allowing it’s pleasing shape to easily turn a corner or surround a special tree or taller shrub. Buy as many as 25 Carissa hollies and you can mass them in front of the darker leaved ligustrum as an accent every few feet. They’ll grow to make a solid line or, if you want to shape them (easily) you can make them a round counter-point to a straight row of azalea.