The Complete Guide for Berryhill Yew (Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’) Care

The Berryhill Yew, otherwise known as the Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ or Anglo-Japanese Yew ‘Densiformis’, Densiformis Yew, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its dark green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Berryhill Yew Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Berryhill Yew are the following:

  • Water: The Berryhill Yew needs water regularly upon potting but increased frequency during the robust growing season.
  • Light: Keep your Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Berryhill Yew in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Berryhill Yew is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Taxus x media 'Berryhillii' plant

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Berryhill Yew belongs to the Oleaceae family, the genus Syringa and the species Reticulata, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ (TAKS-us MEE-dee-uh).

As with other Syringa’s, the Berryhill Yew is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Berryhill Yew is a plant native to the North & Central China.

You might be wondering why your Berryhill Yew’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 5 – 7 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Berryhill Yew is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, what size of Berryhill Yew are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ can grow up to 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) and 4′ – 6′ (120cm – 180cm) in 4′ – 6′ (120cm – 180cm). 

These dimensions make the Berryhill Yew a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 72″ (180cm) free so the Berryhill Yew can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Berryhill Yew is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ needs water regularly upon potting but increased frequency during the robust growing season.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Taxus x media 'Berryhillii' care


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Berryhill Yew in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Berryhill Yew then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Berryhill Yew needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Berryhill Yew prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Berryhill Yew requires soil with clay, high organic matter, and loam (silt), which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Berryhill Yew requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in shade, or partial sun to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Berryhill Yew will be present year round in your garden.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


You can expect your Berryhill Yew to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

The Berryhill Yew produces some wonderful gold/yellow and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Berryhill Yew have a beautiful dark green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Taxus x media 'Berryhillii' up close

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Berryhill Yew is well known for its tolerance to drought and animals like rabbit, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ will be fine.


Does your Berryhill Yew have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Taxus X Media ‘Berryhillii’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and cottage gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, city and courtyard, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Berryhill Yew’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a mass planting, border, hedge, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Berryhill Yew’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Viburnum, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Potentilla will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Berryhill Yew in your garden or home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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