Red Sprite (female) Winterberry

Product Code: ireds

Ilex verticillata 'Nana'
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Details

Red Sprite is a deciduous shrub grown for its stunning display of red fruit. This is the female selection and must be planted with the Jim Dandy (male) winterberry selection in order for it to fruit properly. The flowers are small and numerous, followed by the red fruit. Showy from September until winter. This prefers a moist, acidic soil. Mature growth is around 3-5' tall and wide.

Planting & Care for Winterberry/Ilex Plants

Preparation

  • This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade.
  • It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water.
  • It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils.
  • It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution.
  • Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder climates.

Opening Plant Material

  • Completely saturate all container plants by putting in a larger container of water until stops bubbling, then remove from the container.

Planting containers

  • Does best if planted in early autumn.
  • In light soils that parch quickly, mulch in spring with moisture-conversing, bulky organics to keep roots cool and active. 
  • Dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container and 6" or more wider on the sides.
  • Slide plant from pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With shovel or knife trim bottom 2" off of the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
  • Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Adjust the plant height so the root crown is slightly higher than the ground.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.
  • Water frequently when newly planted. 

Pruning - After Planting

  • Although it is not essential for container plants to be pruned after planting, a light pruning to remove any broken branches during shipment and improve shape will help the looks of your new planting.

Pruning - Through-out the Season

  • This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed.  

Watering - After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as oft en as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Watering - Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves. 
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

 

Go to our "Plant Features & Video Tab" for more information on container plants and how to plant them. 

 

Handling & Planting Guidelines

Special Features & Videos on Winterberry/Ilex Plants 

Special Plant Features & Tips

  • The pointy leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
  • Winterberry is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a shapely oval form.
  • Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
  • This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed.

Check-out our video series on pruning shrubs. 

How to plant containers 

 

 

ItemApprox Weight (lbs.)Approx Base Dimensions (diameter)Approx Height
#7 Grow Bag** 35-50 14-16" 5-8'
#10 Grow Bag** 55-70 18" 6-8'
#15 Grow Bag** 65-80 22" 6-10'
#20 Grow Bag** 75-100 24" 8-12'
1 1/4" B&B** 250-500 22" for single stems, 28" for multiple stems  8-11'
1 1/2" B&B** 325-600 24" for single stems, 30" for multiple stems  10-12'
2" B&B** 500-700 28" for single stems, 32" for multiple stems 10-14'
2 1/2" B&B** 600-1000 30" for single stems, 36" for multiple stems 10-15'
3" B&B** 850-1000 34"-36"  12-16'
3 1/2" B&B** 1000 36"  12-18'
10' B&B** 250 22"  10'
12' B&B** 325 24"  12'
14' B&B** 500 28" 14'
16' B&B** 600 30"  16'
2' B&B** 50 12-16"  2'
3' B&B** 60-250 16-22"  3'
4' B&B** 250 22-24" 4'
5' B&B** 325 22-24"  5'
6' B&B** 150-325 16-24" 6'
7' B&B** 500-700 28-32"  7'
8' B&B** 600-700 14-30"  8'
9' B&B** 700 32"  9'
#3 container* Less than 35  10" 10" 
#5 container** 40 11" 10.5" 
#7 container** 60 14" 12" 
#10 container** 80 14" 14 
#20 container** 160 19.5" 17" 
Bare Root* varies, but always lighter no soil on roots varies depending on item

*#1 - #3 containers and bare root are the only items that can be shipped FedEx and/or by our delivery trucks (see below for more information regarding pick-up and local delivery. 

**Any items over 100 Ibs., #5 - #20 containers or B&B can only be delivered by our trucks due to FedEx shipping weight and size restrictions. Our trusted trucks only deliver around a 100 miles radius from our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Any item you order can be picked-up at our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin or our new retail garden center Winterland Nursery for free (bare root orders cannot be picked up at Winterland due to lack of bare root coolers). See our estimated delivery schedule here

Growing Zones: 5-9

Bloom Time: May - June
Color: Green, Red, White
Plant Size: 3-5' tall x 3-5' wide
Flower Color: White (inconspicuous)
Fruit: Red
Sunlight: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Wet, Dry
Low Maintenance: No
Deer Resistant: No
Attracts Butterflies: No
Attracts Bees: No
Attracts Birds: Yes
Edible: No
Native: No

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