|Mature Height:||6 to 8 feet|
|Mature Width:||6 to 8 feet|
|Sunlight:||Full Sun to part shade|
|Habit:||Deciduous, densely branched, shrub forming|
|Flower Color:||White but inconspicuous|
|Foliage:||New growth emerges a deep dark green, changing to a golden yellow in the fall|
|Soil Condition:||Any well drained soil but will tolerate “wet feet”|
|Water Requirements:||Water well until established|
|Uses:||Extremely attractive when used as a focal point in the mixed border, mass planting, or a specimen planting. Provides unmatched winter interest especially when planted in front of a contrasting backdrop|
We suggest when planting your newly purchased Winter Gold Winterberry Holly plants that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. Depending on the quality of your existing soil you may need to add a locally sourced compost or topsoil to the back-fill soil. We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a back-fill soil because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young feeder roots of Winter Gold Winterberry Holly to spread through the loose, nutrient rich soil, much easier than if you used solely the existing soil which more times than not will be hard and compacted. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant to deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is a great starter fertilizer that provides plants with mycorrhizae fungus. It is a naturally occurring beneficial fungus that colonizes on the new growing roots of plants. It creates a barrier between the roots of the plant and fungus and pathogens that can cause root rot. We love this product and use it on all plants we install in our own gardens. Bio-tone is a gardeners best friend and can help guarantee your success.
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Winter Gold Winterberry Holly a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks. Gator bag Jr. can be used to help aid in this process and also provide plants with a good soaking due to the slow release of the water into the root-zone of the plant. Soaker Hoses can also be used to water when planting a long hedge.
Feeding your plants is probably the single most forgotten part of growing healthy long lasting plants. We recommend feeding your Winter Gold Winterberry Holly in the very early spring and again in mid fall after all new growth has hardened off. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is the best product to use at the time of planting. Winterberry Hollies tend to use more nitrogen than some other plant families. Our ideal fertilizer schedule for you to use is as follows. Do an early spring fertilizer with a product such as Espoma Tree-tone at the recommended rate this will give the plant a boost of nitrogen that will be needed for healthy abundant foliage. Follow this up with a early summer application of Espoma Holly Tone, this will provide the necessary nutrients and raise the acid level in the soil which Winter Gold Winterberry Holly favor. Espoma products are easy to use, just sprinkle around the base of the plant and water it in. Be careful with products such as miracle-grow as these products can burn newly planted plants when not used at the recommended rates. Slow-release fertilizer can help prevent rapid sucker growth that is vulnerable to diseases and insects.
We highly recommend that you mulch your Winter Gold Winterberry Holly with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the plant.
Maintenance of Winter Gold Winterberry Holly is minimal once established. There are two schools of thought for pruning to enhance the red coloration of the stems. The first method of pruning is to remove 1/3 of the shrub each spring to eliminate the oldest branches as it is the newer stems that display the best coloration. The next method involves rejuvenating the entire shrub every 3 years or so by removing all of the branches to within 8″ of the ground. The flush of growth that ensues will be covered in Red Berries…of course you won’t really see it until the following fall when the leaves drop but you will be rewarded with a beautiful show. Either method is fine and occasionally its okay to cut the plant a little harder than you normally would shrubs. This is a plant that thrives on abuse.