In northern climates, gardeners face the challenge of keeping the landscape attractive when the last autumn flowers bloom and the color fades. Winter is a time when many gardeners spend their time planning gardens the following year and resign themselves to a winter landscape. But if your landscape is well-planned, winter is not necessarily a colorless time.

Winterberry (Ilex vertisilata), a slender holly shrub in the eastern United States, can be a great addition to the landscape, as it produces bright red berries that last through winter and spring. Bright berries not only add significant color to winter landscapes, but they also attract colorful birds that like to eat large quantities of red berries.

Unlike other known holly shrubs, the winter bilberry is rather an evergreen shrub rather than an evergreen shrub. Although it is seen as a bad aspect, it is also seen as a beneficial feature, as it allows to take the interesting red berry presentation with the arrival of winter. All attention is drawn to the fruit of the plant, there is no fountain to obstruct the view.

Winterberry is a slow-growing shrub with round, steep habit. It is usually 3 to 15 feet long and grows easily. The kets leaves are dark green and elliptical, about 2 to 3 inches long. The color of the fall is usually not impressive, although over the years the leaves can turn beautiful brown to look at. In spring there are fairly greenish-white flowers, which, when properly pollinated, produce a dense crop of bright red berries 1/4 inch in diameter in late summer and fall.


Plants like the holly shrubs of winter blackberries for a long time in January, February and even March without glossy, gem-shaped berry clusters, with bare branches.

The natural range of this beautiful woody shrub extends from Florida and Texas to New York State and Maine, you can grow it anywhere you live if you live in the USDA hardiness zone 3-9.

Winterberry Holly, Alex Verticilta, makes an attractive hedge or addition to a flower bed at any time of the year and attracts bright berry birds and small mammals – not a good thing or a very good thing, depending on your choice.

But beware, since these beautiful berries are injected it is toxic to humans and dogs. Don’t eat these!

Unlike other well-known holi trees like the English holly (I. aquifolium), the verticillata is reduced, but its berries cling to the stalks for several months after the leaves – which often have a beautiful color. Orange, rust or purple – fall

I.Verticillata has a circular growth habit extending from six to 15 feet, depending on the variety, and a mature height of three to 15 feet in length.

Want to learn how to grow this shrubs by applying year-round?

Here’s what I’ll cover:


  • What Is Winterberry?
  • Cultivation and History
  • Propagation
  • How to Grow
  • Growing Tips
  • Growing care
  • Pruning and Maintenance
  • Cultivars to Select
  • Managing Pests and Disease
  • Best Uses
  • Quick Reference Growing Guide


Native to the United States and Canada, the winter solstice has humid, acidic soils with a pH of 3.5 to 6, and happily grows in ponds, streams, rivers and riverbanks.


I Verticillata, winterberry holly

Other common names include Canadian holly, winter holly, and black alder (although I. verticillata is not related to the elderly).

This species belongs to the family Acifoliasi, of which the Holy Genus – Ilex is the only member.

The plants of the genus Ilex are evergreen or deciduous shrubs or shrubs or trees that grow mainly insignificant and colonial areas. The flowers are small and barely noticeable, but the berries stand out – especially in the case of I’s vertigo in winter.

The genus name comes from the Ilex Latin meaning “halam oak” or “evergreen oak”. Holm Oak, Quercus Ilex has similar leaves but is not related.

Some of the leaves of this genus have a distinctly glossy, toothed appearance, such as the English holly of the Christmas card, Alex aquifolium.


Ilex Aquifolium, English Holly

I.Verticilter leaves are lens-sized and fine-toothed but not as sharp as the English holly, rather than having the iconic evergreen leaves. The bark is smooth and gray-brown

Beautiful quarter to half an inch berries are scattered with seeds inside and vary in color from red to orange to gold depending on the cultivation.


Winterberry holly is bisexual, meaning that each plant will bear both male or female flowers. Only female plants produce berries and multiple male plants bloom at the same time. If you want to see these bright berries in your bushes, women must grow within 50 feet.

Fortunately, thanks to the hard work of bees, a male can pollinate up to ten females.

It is easy to distinguish the two sexes by looking at the flowers – and noting the presence or presence of berries later in the year. The female flowers grow stems in the middle, which are separated from the males and pollinated to form berries


I verticillata, female flower

If you are growing winterberry holly at home, you can leave the berries on the bushes as an interesting addition to your landscape and you can cut the branches inside the house to add a bouquet or an enthusiast for the cut alone display.

We will discuss the possible uses of these trees in more detail below.


Historically, Haudensaunee (Iroquois) used to bark and leaves to treat various diseases.

It was also noticed by early settlers and settlers. George Washington writes about this in his diary: “I found it around and inside many of Magnolio’s small growing plants and fences, not too far away, the young maple tree; and the Red Bay of Marsh.

The “Red Marsh Berry” plant breeders have cultivated a variety of varieties, including “Red Sprite” and “Winterberry Red”, which produce red berries, as well as their male pollinators “Jim Dandy” and “Southern Gentleman”. ‘

For golden berries, “winter gold” and “goldfunch” are popular plants. “Auraniaca” and “Little Goblin: Orange” are popular choices for orange berries.

We’ll talk more about some of our favorite strains below.

So how do you propagate this beautiful berry? Read on to find out more.


There are two common ways to propagate I. Verticillatas: by cut or by division. We will cover each of these methods here.

Although it is technically possible to get out of the seed, it can take several years for mature plants to develop which produce berries through this method of reproduction. You cannot be a group of men and no woman or vice versa.

Additionally, attempts to raise seeds from hybrid varieties can lead to frustration, as its characteristics may not be true of their ancestral plants.


If you know someone who has enriched holy shrubs or seen some plants in the wild, you can easily propagate a new pair of plants by cutting a few cut roots.

Remember that you need to cut from both male and female shrubs to make sure you have your pollinating partner for the female berry bush.

Softwood cuttings work best, so you’ll want to do it in the spring or summer.

First, prepare an eight-ounce clear plastic cup for the cup you plan to take and fill it with a mixture of perilite and peat algae. Moisten the soil by spraying with a spray bottle.

Then cut three to four inches of new growth from mature male and female shrubs.

Using a clean knife or pruning scissors, cut all but two or three leaves at the end of the cut.


Carefully cut the underside of the skin from half an inch with a utility knife and dip each cut edge into a root hormone gel or powder, such as Arabico Organics.

With your finger, make a hole in each pot to cut into the ground of the pot and place one inside. Sprinkle the mixture well around the cut.

Keep the containers in a warm place with direct sunlight and consider placing a dome on top of each to retain moisture. Moisten the cuttings by spraying potting soil with water at least twice a day.

After six to eight weeks, the cuttings need to grow new roots, which you can see through the lighter sides of the cuts.

Fill each cut-out into eight-inch pots with fresh potting soil and place them indoors or in a sunny spot in the greenhouse. Water these every other day or so or whenever the top inch of soil is dry.

Make sure they get at least six hours of sunlight per day or eight to ten hours of light from a rising light that is not as strong as direct sunlight.

After a year, you can start hardening the plants by running the plants outside the house for extra time each day, until they can be out in direct light for eight hours.

At this point, you can replace each of them in a permanent place in your yard or garden!

Do this when the weather is still warm and the soil is accessible – usually in late summer or early autumn after the initial spread.


If you are looking for a quick and easy way to propagate a new plant, try raising a new one (or two, usually – a male and a female) from the suckers that grow next to or near the tree. Mom. You may want to do this in late autumn or early winter.

All you have to do is dig up and loosen the milk from their mother plants and replace each in an eight-inch container filled with potting soil.

Drink water every day or every other day, as the top inch of soil has just started to dry up in the stream. Store indoors or in a heated greenhouse in a partially sunny place. When you see new growth, you can replace the new trees in the garden.

Or, you can dig a hole eight inches deep in a partially sunless place or in full sun and bury the pots there for the winter ots straw with the straw and water described above.

In the spring, you can remove the raw sores and pots and replant the clades directly on the ground.

In winter you want to see berries but remember to plant a male within 15 miles of a female!


If you do not want to propagate a new plant, or if you do not place the plant in a place where you can cut or suck, you can always buy a potted I. vertical tree from a nursery or garden store. The garden

I will give you some suggestions on varieties to choose from below.

Keep in mind that you will need male and female plants growing within 50 feet of each other, so when choosing a planting site, check the spacing requirements for the varieties you have chosen.

Winter holly trees can grow up to six to 15 feet wide depending on the cultivation. Smaller varieties can be planted six feet apart but check plant labels according to mature width and location.

The best time to plant your garden is in late summer or early autumn to give the opportunity to plant roots before the arrival of winter.

To replace purchased winter shrubs in your yard or garden, dig a hole as deep and wide as the original ball and fix it with a mixture of compost and peat moss or 10-10-10 fertilizer. (NPK) as per package instructions.

Carefully loosen the main ball from the plant and remove it from the nursery pot. Put it back in its new place and with soil.

Lots of water and voila! You planted a beautiful set of shrubs to anchor your flower bed. Or, add a few more plants to create an informal hedge or border.


One part of the winter holly should be planted in full sun and should be best used with well-drained soil, although this plant tolerates excess moisture.


You can test the soil to verify that your soil is acidic enough to grow them – it should be in the pH range 3.5-6.0.

If you need to make it more acidic, place two brick-pit algae in the ground, then work it eight to 12 inches above the planting site with a trowel.

You can apply granular sulfur according to the package instructions to lower the pH of your soil.

Replace the water every new day until you notice new growth. Then several times a week after gently drying the water or inches above the soil.

However, do not allow the soil to dry completely, as these trees do not tolerate drought – they cannot produce fruit without adequate moisture. You can apply a layer of mulch to help retain moisture.

Helps to maintain soil moisture and protect the roots from temperature changes in winter and keeps the root zone glassy with the help of roots or straw.


  • Sun Plant in a partially sunless location or in full sun.
  • Make sure the soil pH is between 3.5 and 6.0
  • Water every few days the new plants or when the top of the soil dries out, plant new trees.


winter shrubs in wild areas usually refer to wetlands as home, these are ideal for regular wet or poorly drained areas of the house landscape (where a few more will grow). however, it also grows in different conditions until it gets enough moisture. winterberry is usually resistant to insects and diseases but it can be susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildew which is rarely serious.

winterberry is an organic plant, meaning there are separate male and female plants. since only fertilized female plants will show a great berry, there is at least one male winter tree in this region to allow cross-pollination. essentially, a single male bush can pollinate 6-10 female shrubs.


winterberry holly will do well in full sun in partial shade.


this plant adapts to both light and heavy soils but works best in acidic soils with a good level of organic matter. it behaves neutrally in alkaline soils, which can lead to severe chlorosis (loss of leaves). feeding acidic fertilizers can prevent this.


winterberry holly prefers fairly humid conditions. do not plant it in dry soil or in dry weather unless you want to drink water frequently. this plant needs 1 inch of water per week through rain or irrigation.

temperature and humidity

winterberry has good tolerance to all temperature and humidity conditions across the hardness range although it does not do well in chronic drought conditions.


winterberries usually do not need to be fed unless the growth is very slow. if necessary, 1/2 cup is usually sufficient by applying 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer each spring. problems where alkaline soils, an acidic fertilizer can help.


To make sure your shrubs stay strong as they mature, consider planting them in a place where it can be controlled, with a natural habit.

It is better to plant the I. Verticillata which is as long as you like. For example, the “Red Sprite” is only three feet tall and its pollinator, the “Jim Dandy” reaches six feet.


“Southern Gentleman” and “Winter Red” reach six to eight feet in height.

We’ll talk more about each of these characters below, but just keep in mind that you should take a closer look at the different varieties ’heights and distributions and find the size that’s right for you.

For the most abundant berries, you may want to prune this species very easily by removing only dead or broken branches in the winter after pruning.

This is because the berries grow on the old wood and the buds of the next year develop with the new growth of the current year.

If you prune a branch in the spring, you will remove the buds. If you wait until autumn or winter to prune it, you remove those gem-shaped berries.

This is a losing situation! In fact, leaving a bush completely alone (without removing cuttings here and there) can be the most successful flowering and ornamental barley crop.


As mentioned, you will need a male to pollinate your female plants when buying to plant different types of trees.

The important thing to note is that they must bloom at the same time to be pollinated. So if you choose early female flowers, make sure your male cultivator flowers early too.

Here are some of our favorite winter holly farming that you can enjoy sitting at home.


With satin leaves and quite a yellow and purple fruit color, “Jim Dandy” will be a beautiful addition to your garden.

But be careful: ‘Jim Dandy’ is a male farmer and does not produce berries.


“Jim Dandy” is an early flower grower, producing flowers in late May and early June – which is why he is the ideal pollinator for the early flowers “Red Sprite” described below.

Hardy in Zone 4-8, the “Jim Dandy” is three to six feet long with a width of four to five feet.

At Nature Hills Nursery you can find three-inch potted plants.


For the perfect addition to ‘Jim Dandy’ and his pollination skills, plant some beautiful ‘Red Sprites’ in your garden for lasting color.


The blooms at the same time as “Jim Dandy” – in late May and early June. The bright red half-inch berry lasts all winter and early spring.

Also, if you are looking for an organized farmer, ‘Red Sprite’ is your holly. Hardy in Zone 4-9, he is only two to three feet tall and three to four feet wide, with a simple, round habit, which makes him suitable for a flower bed.

In fact, I’ll be planting “Jim Dandy” and “Red Sprite” together in my garden to provide some essential winter color that won’t overwhelm my little flower beds.

Find plants in three-inch containers online at Nature Hill Nursery.


The late-flowering “Southern Gentleman” meets your late-flowering female cultivation pollen needs, including “winter red”.

At six to seven feet long and six feet wide, the “Southern Gentleman” creates an attractive informal hedge.


From the beginning to the end of June the “Southern Gentleman” flowers and hardens in the 3-9 region.

Explore the gardens of four-inch pot shirts through the Amazon.


For wonderful cultivation with lots of clusters of bright red berries, try ‘winter red’. Mature plants are six to eight feet long and wide.

In the Hardy 3-9 region, the “winter red” blooms between early and late June, making them the perfect pairing for the “skilled gentleman”.

Through the Home Depot, you can find three-inch containers from Spring Hill Nursery.


Lucky for you, winter blackberry holly is pest and disease resistant.

Squirrels and birds like to eat berries – especially American robins, cedar wings, gray catbirds, woodpeckers and walnuts – they usually don’t eat enough to hinder your enjoyment. Not at once, at least.

And indeed, the presence of birds and other small animals increases the interest in the garden. That’s not the berry you’re going to eat! (Again, remember these are strictly rhetorical and toxic to humans and pets).

Other critics are not big fans. All species of I. verticillata are deer resistant and these plants are not usually disturbed by insects.


While problems are rare, look for leaf stains and powdery mildew, which are not usually fatal and ensure adequate air circulation with proper spacing between plants.

If you notice that the leaves are turning yellow, the soil pH can be very alkaline, which is why it is important to test your soil before planting.

And if you’re in a cold place, be careful to throw salt on your pavement to allow the ice to melt, as it can sink into the ground and raise the pH.

A great alternative to rock salt is traction sand, available in most hardware stores in the winter which provides traction but does not melt ice and does not add extra sodium to the soil. We use traction sand in our house every winter.

Although bilberries are like moist soil, they are not usually bothered by fungal diseases.

However, it can sometimes be a victim of anthracnose, especially in the humid growing conditions of the southeastern United States. Keep an eye out for small brown or tan spots on the leaves.

If you notice signs of anthracnose, remove the affected leaves and spray the entire plant with a copper fungicide spray, such as Bond, obtained from Arbico Organics.


Winterberry Holly provides a perfect backdrop to other perennial flower gardens. It is also beautiful as a natural and informal hedge or border.

The berries make a great holiday decor and the reds contrast perfectly with the gray-brown bark.

Cut three to five branches (or more, you want) of berries to display them on their own in a jar with water, where they will stay fresh for about two weeks. Or add them to a winter bouquet of red roses and evergreen branches for a pleasing centre.

In perfect contrast, you can display in a vase with cut white lilies and baby breath.

Another idea is to add springs of winter blackberries to an evergreen wreath for a warm and natural decoration for your front door. Use only yarn to secure two to three-inch berry sprigs on spruce or pine branches.

When it becomes brown and wrinkled you need to pick individual berries, so keep an eye out for it.

And remember, berries are poisonous, so you want to keep these decorations out of the reach of children and pets.


Plant Type:Woody ornamental shrubFlower / Foliage Color:White/emerald green (noted for berries)
Native To:Eastern North AmericaMaintenance:Low
Hardiness (USDA Zone):3-9Tolerance:Boggy, wet soil
Bloom Time / Season:May and JuneSoil Type:Acidic, loamy
Exposure:Full sun to part shadeSoil pH:3.5-6.0
Spacing:6-15 feetSoil Drainage:Well-draining
Planting Depth:Same as root ballAttracts:Birds, squirrels
Height:3-15 feet, depending on varietyUses:Borders, hedges, backdrops for perennials; cutting for vases
Spread:6-15 feet, depending on varietyFamily:Aquifoliaceae
Time to Maturity:2-3 yearsGenus:Ilex
Water Needs:ModerateSpecies:verticillata
Pests and Disease:Anthracnose, leaf spot, powdery mildew


There Is Nothing Better Than Looking Out The Window In Winter And Seeing A Bunch Of Winter Blackberries Against A Snowy Background.

One Day I Will Return To Vermont And Admire All The Wild I Grew Up There, Leaving Beautiful Berries For Us To Visit In The Winter To Enjoy The Birds.

But For Now, I’m Going To Capture Some Of That Magic In My Own Backyard In Alaska.

Have You Ever Grown A Blueberry Holly? What Is Your Favorite Farmer? Let Me Know In The Comments, And Feel Free To Ask Any Questions You Have!

And For More Information On Growing Shrubs In Your Garden, See These Guides Below:


winter hall is one of the few thin shrubs that give good interest to the garden throughout the year. it is usually planted in public or as a shrub border, as a foundation shrub, in native forest gardens or in bird gardens. winterberry is notable for being attractive to a variety of birds and other wildlife. when planting, make sure you feel comfortable inviting animals into your landscape:

  1. Bluebirds
  2. Robins
  3. Catbirds
  4. Mockingbirds
  5. Cedar waxwings
  6. Deer
  7. Raccoons
  8. Mice

berry-laden branches in ilex verticilta are popular with art and craft enthusiasts for use in items such as flower arrangements, winter planters, wreath-laying and kissing balls.

Is Winterberry Holly Toxic?

like all holly, bilberries are mildly toxic to some animals and humans. the berries contain caffeine-like alkaloid theobromine that can cause high levels, dizziness, high heart rate, nausea and diarrhoea. do not use this tree where children, dogs or cats can eat berries.



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