British Grown
Volume 1-9 10-49 50-249 250+
Price per plant £54.00 £46.80 £41.40 £36.00
Price £54.00
British Grown
Volume 1-9 10-49 50-249 250+
Price per plant £10.20 £9.00 £7.50 £6.00
Price £10.20

All prices include VAT

Product description



One of the most popular of the variegated hollies this is a female despite its masculine name and does berry. The leaves are margined with a rich golden yellow, which may have given the impression of a golden crown to those who named it.  It is generally not prickly and as such can make an interesting hedge.

Where to grow

Hollies will grow in most well drained moist soils with good levels of organic matter and nutrients.  They do not tolerate waterlogged ground particularly well and will do better if sheltered when small.

Did you know?

Ilex Golden king is a sport from Ilex  x altaclarensis Hendersonii which occurred at Lawson nursery in Scotland shortly before 1876.

The Ilex x altaclarensis crosses are between the native holly Ilex aquifolium and Madeira holly, Ilex perado which were undertaken to get garden hollies with larger leaves, fruit and greater vigour in the mid-19th century.

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
5-10 meters
Round Headed
Growth rate
Very Slow
Soil type
Light sandy
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Season of interest
Green and Yellow (variegated)
Flower colour
Flowering type
Flowering month
Berries/fruit colour
Evergreen Hedge
Berrying Hedge
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Bird Food
Suitable for Topiary
Suitable for Containers
Suitable for Patio


Pruning Ilex X Altaclerensis Golden King

Ilex x altaclerensis Golden King is excellent as a hedge, but the variegated leaf also makes it a popular choice as shaped shrub or tree. When training with a central leader, ensure that any vigorous competing leaders are removed as these will disrupt the outline.

As a variegated cultivar, it is not uncommon for new growth to revert to a plain leaf colour. Remove these shoots fully when they are young; the removal of established stems will dramatically affect the outline.

What time of year should I prune? Prune in summer.

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.


The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.


If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.


Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


By reynolds hardiman on 14/03/2015

Is this suitable for dense hedging on small gardens - about 4m wide. And how big a spread and how deep would the roots go to eventually? Many thanks.

By Simon on 23/03/2015

Hello Rynolds,

Yes it is a very good hedging plant. If you kept it clipped as a hedge you wouldn’t need to worry about he roots as it would restrict the root growth as well.

By Llinda Sim on 08/07/2017

Wonder is you could help. I think we have Holly Golden King, it look like the pictures on your website, white flowers and red berries in Autumn.
I have heard that to get berries you need a male and female - is this correct in the case of this tree?
Thanks and btw the trees we purchased last year are doing very well.
Linda Sim

By Simon on 14/07/2017

Hello Linda,

Golden King Holly, despite the name, is a female holly! It does need a male to pollinate it to produce berries. There is obviously one nearby for you as yours is producing berries.

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