KC Gardens

'Red Sprite' ilex

Red Sprite ilex


My three-year old shrub set its first berries this year, but while small and green, they all fell off. We are in St. Joseph and had much less rain than you had in K.C. Could this be the cause of the fruit drop? Does this variety require supplemental watering to produce fruit? - Jane -


  1. 7 months ago

    Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’ prefers moist, slightly acid soil, high in organic matter. Winterberrys develop chlorosis in high pH soils.

    The premature berry drop is usually environmental stress. I would suggest you water your winterberries (all including the pollinator) deeply now. Continue to keep the area moist into winter and monitor the soil moisture carefully next year. Also it would be a good idea to have a soil test done at your local MO extension service, as this will tell you if you need to correct the pH.

    Good luck.

    Carole Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

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