Colorful Winter Plant for Tennessee Yards: “Winter Gold”

Colorful Winter Plant for Tennessee Yards: “Winter Gold”

To adorn the homepage of this newborn blog, I decided to research what might be growing in Tennessee instead of going for the dead/frozen look of winter.  I discovered a new plant, and before I knew it, I was racing with a thunderstorm to take photos of the only place I knew I could find one – the University of Tennessee Gardens.  I wasn’t kidding either – – there was just one.  It took a while to find her, but when I did, she stole show.

I visited a few nurseries and some local lawn & garden shops for advice in gardening a few years ago so I could landscape my bare front yard.  When I asked one owner if it’s okay to plant now (it was October then) I remember him telling me he only plants plants 🙂  in the fall, because the conditions are perfect: not too hot & not too cold.  I hope to remember “Winter Gold” this fall, and to plant them all over my yard.  It’s a lot like the holly plants you see in yards and Christmas Decorations……but completely different.

The variety is called “Winter Gold.” Rightly so, because it’s certainly not red like the other holly we’re accustomed to…..It’s ORANGE.  Well, according to my research, it’s a peachy, salmon-like hue.  Up close, they’re ORANGE. J


So far, this is what I’ve learned about Winterberry Holly (Ilex Verticillata) “Winter Gold”:

~Apparently, they are heterosexual, & I will have to find my berry-bearing female plant a date. (Seriously, I guess I will be visiting the nursery to find out more….One site suggests planting “Southern Gentleman,” a pollinator, nearby.  Does this work in real life?  Is this how babies get here?)

~They will get as tall as 8 feet.

~The orange color might lighten a tad as the plant gets older.

~It’s a sturdy plant that can really stand up to disease & pests.

~It can thrive in many different climates.

~It’s best planted in full sun.

~It can make do with average to moist soil.

~It is okay to plant it in zones 4-9.


I love the color, & it will go well with the brick on my house & the ORANGE doors in front & back.  Stay tuned for more info.  I will certainly be back with more…..if not for the landscaping project, perhaps the soap opera!


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