Easily grown in average, medium moisture soil in full sun to part shade. Adaptable to both light and heavy soils, but prefers moist, acidic, organic soils with good drainage. A dioecious shrub: CHINA GIRL is a female plant and CHINA BOY is a companion male plant. Usually plant mostly CHINA GIRL because only females produce the attractive red berries which are so conspicuous in fall and winter. A planting needs at least one CHINA BOY within 400' as a pollinator for up to 9-10 CHINA GIRL plants. Prune to shape in early spring just before new growth begins. Good winter hardiness.
CHINA GIRL is an upright, rounded, dense, evergreen shrub which matures over many years to 7-10' tall by 5-8' wide. Often seen growing much shorter, however. Obovate, glossy, dark green leaves have spiny-toothed margins. Tiny, whitish flowers appear in spring and are relatively inconspicuous.
No serious disease or insect problems. Occasional problems with holly leaf miners, scale and mites. If leaves yellow while veins remain green, soil acidity probably needs adjustment.
These female plants produce red berries and are accordingly somewhat more attractive than the companion male plants. Females and males together have year-round interest and are excellent for foundation plantings, hedges, shrub borders or accents. Twigs may be cut and added to the Christmas wreath.