Common Name Winterberry holly
Genus  Ilex
Species verticillata
Family Acanthaceae
Life Cycle  deciduous shrub
Bundle Size 10 bare roots per bundle 
Care All of these plants will ship to you from Vermont in early April. They will be just coming out of dormancy. You may see swelling buds or a bit of new growth, but in general they will be in a dormant state and may look a little dead. Don't worry! They will wake up.

You may see a bit of mold on the roots but this is completely normal. Simply wash it off and plant immediately. As a precaution you can treat the roots with a fungicide or biofungicide, but this isn't necessary. Small broken branches are also of little concern. Just prune off any broken bits and the plant will recover quickly. The root system is the important part at this stage in the game.

If you can't plant immediately on arrival store your bare roots in the cooler.The cold will delay their growth. Keep them from freezing. You can either pot them into 1 gallon pots or plant them directly into your prepared soil. Just make sure to plant them within a few days of arrival. They are waking up and are ready to grow, and they will decline quickly if they are not given soil, water and sunshine.

This is a carefully orchestrated process to get plants quickly from their storage conditions to you so please do your part and be ready to plant them on arrival. There is no reason that these plants will experience any stress if you prepare for their arrival.
Netting / Staking None

Hardy zones 4-8. They should survive easily in zones 4-8, and may tolerate colder and warmer conditions.

Spacing Space 3-4' between plants
Soil Preference Adaptable to most soils, naturally growing in acidic swampy or boggy areas. 
Light Full sun to part shade. 
Water  lIex verticillata naturally grows in acidic swampy or boggy areas. They need access to moisture to retain their fruit. Drought may not kill them, but it will cause berry drop.
When to Plant Spring, when the ground is workable. 

Ilex flower and fruit on the previous season's growth. They naturally drop their leaves in autumn revealing their bright plump berries. In the north, they generally lose their leaves in time to harvest for Autumn arrangements, but in the south you make need to "sweat" the stems to encourage leaf drop. I recommend getting a copy of Woody Cut Stems, Production and Postharvest Handling of Branches for Flowers, Fruit, and Foliage to learn more about this process.

Ilex is a bit slow to establish. You should begin harvest 3 or 4 years after planting, but once they reach maturity you can manage your harvest through pruning.

Post Harvest Care Post Harvest guide coming soon
Diseases / Insects The native holly leafminer, Japanese wax scale, and southern red mites are the most frequently reported pests of hollies in the southeastern United States. Leaf spots and powdery mildew occasionally occur. Neutral to alkaline soils may cause chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) and even death. 
Bailey's Notes

lex verticillata, or Winterberry Holly as it is commonly known, is a deciduous Ilex, native to Eastern North America. It ranges from the mountains of Alabama all the way up into Canada, and west into Minnesota. 

As a cut product they command very high prices, especially when well grown. 

The yellow and orange cultivars are ideal for autumn bouquets, combining beautifully with mums, kale, and the other gems of autumn. They are also the perfect for Thanksgiving, a time when many northern growers do not have much to sell. After Thanksgiving the red varieties become very popular. They last quite well out of water, and are often used in outdoor evergreen arrangements. Well grown tall stems are striking on their own. I used to often use them with Amaryllis in the Christmas season for bar, restaurant and hotel work. 

As with most hollies, Ilex verticillata is dioecious, meaning it has separate male and female plants. The females make the berries, but they will only do so in the presence of a male plant. Ilex breeder Kolster recommends 1 male for every 10 female plants. Every order of 10 plants will be shipped with an additional male plant to ensure pollination. You will receive 11 plants total with each order). Plant the male plants in the middle of the females to increase the chance of the bees pollinating every flower.


 North Carolina Extension Gardeners Plant Toolbox