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The Plant Guide

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Japanese winterberry

Ilex serrata 'Sundrops'

EYE-leks ser-RAY-tah

This compact deciduous holly reaches up to 8 feet tall with equal or greater spread. Pale yellow berries ripen in September and stand out on reddish-brown branches, persisting into early winter and attracting birds.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsAdaptable to wet soil conditions and likes full sun to partial shade. Use as a specimen tree or in a woodland garden.

CareGrow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Hollies are dioecius, so a few male plants are needed for a female plant to produce berries. Plant or transplant in spring.

PropagationSemi-ripe cuttings in summer or early autumn.

ProblemsYoung shoots are susceptible to aphids; also watch for scale insects and leaf miners. Phytophtora root rot sometimes occurs.

  • Genus : Ilex
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage, Showy Fruit
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest

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