Northern Beauty Japanese Holly
Ilex crenata 'Northern Beauty'
Northern Beauty Japanese Holly foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 4 feet
Hardiness Zone: 4b
Other Names: Box-leaved Holly
Compact shrub accented with abundant black berries during winter; perfect for gardens or even containers
Northern Beauty Japanese Holly is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent black berries in late fall. It has attractive forest green foliage. The small glossy oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain forest green throughout the winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.
Northern Beauty Japanese Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds and bees to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Northern Beauty Japanese Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Northern Beauty Japanese Holly will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Northern Beauty Japanese Holly makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.