Winterberry Holly

winterberry holly

‘Winter Red’ Winterberry holly is the female variety of the species.  When paired with a male ‘Southern Gentleman’, the female will grow beautiful red berries in the late fall and winter.  They are one of our favorites for winter interest! Although this plant is listed as ‘deer resistant’ I’ve definitely seen them get munched. If you protect your newly planted winterberries until they’re established they’ll be able to withstand some deer munching. Let us know in the notes if the deer have eaten your winterberry. I also like to use winterberry in soil that is moist. It can be used to stabilize soil in erosion areas or in a rain garden. Some of the newer varieties say they are smaller but I’ve seen all varieties grow pretty large! This plant is gorgeous in winter and is pretty low maintenance. Its nice to watch the birds eat the berries and to see the berry filled branches covered in snow or ice. It is listed as part sun- anything less than 4 hours a day will not produce as many berries. This is a great plant on the border of a property where there is more space for it to grow without needing to be pruned back hard. I usually don’t prune it unless really needed- every three years or so.

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Latin Name: Ilex verticilata ‘Winter Red’
Common Name: Winterberry holly
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Clay Soil, Wet Soil, Air Pollution
Information from Missouri Botanical