When most people think of a Holly Bush they usually think of an evergreen plant with dark green shiny leaves. But Winterberry Holly is unlike it's evergreen cousins. This plant is deciduous and native in many parts of the U.S. and Canada. Although it is often found growing in wetlands, it does just as well if not better in well drained garden soils found around most homes.
Like some of the other hollies, Winterberry Holly also requires both a male and a female plant planted in close proximity to one another in order for the plants to produce a bumper crop of the those striking red berries. For best results plant at least one male plant for every three female plants.
People always ask me; "How close do they have to be in order for them to produce a nice crop of berries. And all I can say is "close proximity". But when designing a landscape you should always plant multiple numbers of any one plant and plant them in groupings. So I'd say keep them as close together as possible, but not more than twenty five feet apart.
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Winterberry Holly is a plant that really shows itself off in the fall and winter so keep that in mind as you design them into your landscape. Put them where you can see them from inside during the winter. Especially if you live in the snowy north part of the country. Here in Ohio it can look pretty bleak outside when all you can see for miles and miles is snow. Now you can break up that pattern with a few Winterberry Hollies and remind yourself that even during the winter Mother Nature has the ability to wow you.
There are many different cultivars of Winterberry Holly, so I'll mention three that I think you will really like. 'Winter Red' is by far the most popular to people who love to cut the berry covered branches and include them in floral and Christmas displays.
'Cacapon' is excellent for your landscape because it has dark green glossy foliage during the summer, yellow leaves in the fall, then a brilliant display of red berries during the winter months that will attract songbirds. The berries make for an emergency food source for birds as well as other small mammals. This variety also grows a little more compact, which really means that with some pruning the plant will grow very dense and will be completely covered with berries as well as providing some protection for birds.
Wintergold actually has berries that aren't quite yellow, but more of an orangish color if that interests you.
All in all Winterberry Holly makes for a great landscape plant that most of your neighbors don't have!