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How to care for Ilex verticillata -Winterberry Holly- as bonsai

Larry Morton

Posted on February 08 2019

Winterberry Holly is also an easy plant to grow. The best fruit is produced in full sun. Provide adequate water and fertilizer when potted and especially prior to fruiting. Most female varieties need an adjacent male nearby for abundant berries. Favor the downward facing buds when pruning. They can take heavy pruning if starting from an overgrown garden plant.

  • Broadly upright but overall spherical clump at maturity.
  • Ascending, twiggy branches on multi stems. Tendency to sucker.
  • Native.
  • Lustrous dark green foliage. Often will display purple tinged fall color.
  • Small dull white flowers.
  • Stem olive brown to noticeably greenish with onion skin effect.
  • Showy, smooth dark brown or black bark.
  • Winter Red has outperformed the rest of the Winterberries with its profusion of intensely bright red berry like fruits persisting fall thru winter. The unrivaled red fruit-laden green branches keep for months as cut decoration indoors if not in water.
  • Little Goblin Orange sets bright orange berries early.
  • Berry Heavy sets bright orange-red berries in abundance.
  • We co-plant male 'Southern Gentleman' as a multistem trunk for pollination 
  • Propagation is easy from summer cuttings.

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