Red Sprite Holly

Availability: Out of stock

The brilliant little Red Sprite Holly, also known as Winterberry, (Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite') and sometimes listed as Ilex verticillata 'Nana' RED SPRITE, Winterberry is a compact ornamental deciduous Holly bush. Hollies are the queens of the fruiting shrub world when ranked for ornamental value, and your Red Sprite is no exception. Featuring bee and pollinator-friendly white flowers in spring, but is usually hidden by the lush, compact, shiny green foliage when it emerges.

Red Sprite Holly is a dense, compact plant that produces multitudes of bright red, half-inch fruit that persists throughout the winter. A wonderful dwarf shrub, Red Sprite works in a wide range of climates around the states throughout USDA growing zones 4 to 9. Extremely attractive in the landscape, your Red Sprite Holly's lovely bright green foliage is sure to please!

These red-fruited, Winterberry Holly grow in an upright rounded habit. Birds and admirers will be flocking to the bright, shiny red berries that will be smothering this plant, but it's rarely bothered by pests and seldom severely damaged by deer.

Some yellow or bronzy fall color may occur before the leaves drop exposing the wildly abundant red berry display! Once this deciduous Holly leaves fall in the autumn, you'll be treated to the amazing bright red berries throughout the fall and winter. The fruiting branches on the bare stems are great for decoration in the garden or in the house!

Planting and Application:

Excellent as a hedge and foundation planting, these add year-round curb appeal. The berries alone in winter make Red Sprite a wonderful specimen among your winter landscape shrubs and perennial gardens! Plant a few in a naturalized area of your landscape or perhaps one at the border of a perennial bed where the winter color can pick up where the bright summer flowers left off.

Their tolerance for soggy soils makes them wonderful for along streams and water features. Plant in low areas, moist wooded edges and where the gutters drain! Plant around Rain gardens and that soggy area by the HVAC unit while hiding these more utilitarian areas of your property!

They are extensively used for decoration and cut flower bouquets around the winter holidays! When the leaves drop off your Red Sprite in late fall to expose the beautiful red berries, you'll be amazed at how decorative your plant is against the winter landscape!

  • Bright Green Deciduous Foliage
  • White Spring Flowers for Pollinators
  • Female Shrub - Bright Red Berries if a Male is Nearby
  • Red Berries Persist Through Winter - Birds Love Them!
  • High Ornamental Compact Dwarf Version
  • Floral Arrangements & Winter Décor
  • Great Low Hedges, Winter Interest & Specimen Hedges

#ProPlantTips For Care

Loving the full sun and even some part shade, these are adaptable to most, moist soils and even acidic or soggy soil. Red Sprite thrives in its native soggy swamps of Northeastern USA, so these naturally prefer wet soil but are adaptable to other conditions. Red Sprite matures in that 3-5 foot height and spread - the larger of this range occurs if the plant is grown in lower pH. You will find the plant very slow growing if the pH is too high (alkaline). Lightly prune after flowering if needed, or strategically harvest a few longer branches to cut for holiday decor.

You'll need both male and female plants to produce fruits for your Red Sprite. Red Sprite requires Ilex 'Jim Dandy' or Ilex 'Apollo' for pollination and berry production, so keep that in mind when acquiring a Red Sprite. One Jim Dandy male Holly or an Apollo Holly will pollinate up to 9 or 10 Red Sprites, however without a male pollinator, you may not see any fruit set.

  • Very Adaptable & Loves Full Sun
  • Moderate to Moist, Well-Drained Soil
  • Prune After Flowering If Needed
  • Use Jim Dandy or Apollo as Male Pollinators
  • Seldom Damaged by Deer

All in all, Red Sprite Holly is an outstanding choice for your yard for all-season interest and backyard songbirds! No wonder this is the winner of the Cary Award for landscape plants! Order Red Sprite and its male pollinator today from today!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Red Sprite Holly Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-9
Growing Zones 4-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 3 - 5 feet
Mature Spread 3 - 5 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Widely Adaptable
Moisture Low Once Established
Growth Rate Medium
Foliage Color Deep Green
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Early Spring