planted a holly, but it never produces fruit. What do I need to do
to make it produce red berries?
Male and female holly flowers grow on different plants. Although the male
plants never produce fruit, they must be grown near the female plants to
provide the pollen needed for fruit production. The flowering of
both female and male plants must be synchronized so the pollen is available
at the same time the female flowers are open. If you want your hollies
to fruit heavily, plant a male holly of the same species as your fruiting
hollies so you can be assured that both male and female flowers are present
at the same time. Male varieties have been developed that bloom at the
same time as their female counterpart; one male plant can pollinate many
female plants. Contact your local nursery to find out what the best male
variety is for pollinating your holly. Bees and other insects will do the
work of transporting the pollen from male plant to female plant.
like hollies, but can't stand the prickly leaves. Are there any hollies
that have kinder leaves?
All of the deciduous hollies lack spiny leaves and many produce an even
heavier crop of red berries than their evergreen relatives. If you
like evergreen foliage, you might want to try growing longstalk holly,
Ilex pedunculosa. As the name suggests, the fruits hang gracefully
from stalks that are much longer than those found on any other holly.
Many of the shrubby evergreen hollies such as Japanese holly and inkberry
also lack spiny leaves, but their berries are black instead of the bright
red color most people associate with holly.
are some other sources for information about hollies?
For tips on locating a supplier for a particular variety of holly, check
our Plant Sources
If you're fond of hollies, check out the Holly Society of America web
site at www.hollysocam.org.