The Q&A Archives: Hollies

Question: I have a partial shade yard and all of my plantings will be understoried to a large oak and my neighbors mulberries that hang over the fences. I would like to include a holly along one of my fence perimeters with tons of berries to draw birds in the fall and winter. I had asked about the Winter Red and Sparkleberry Winterberry bushes. But is there another, perhaps evergreen holly that will give me more berries and still do well in shade? Is the main interest point of the Winterberry Hollies, the fact that they are decidious and create a different interest point for the winter garden? Is there perhaps another decidous holly that has even more berries than the Winter Red?

Thanks... !!!

Answer: The only holly that grows well as an understory is Ilex crenata 'Border Gem' (Border Gem Holly). If you want berries in the winter, stick with Winterberry and add another evergreen such as a winter flowering camellia to brighten the spot beneath your oak tree. I don't think anything compares to Winterberry for the amunt of berries it produces. Best wishes with your garden!

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