The Q&A Archives: Pollentating Winterberry

Question: Last July, I purchased and planted two Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) plants in my backyard. I'm not quite sure, but I may have purchased two females rather that a male and female. I have two questions. First, will a male 'Blue Boy' holly (Ilex x meserveae) that is located in the front of my house (about 24' away) provide the required pollination for the winterberry? Second, I noticed berries on the plants in July and August. The berries actually got red in late August and September. Is this typical? I would have thought that the berries would have started to get red now in mid November. I would appriciate your input.

Thank you.

Answer: The winterberries need to be pollinated by other winterberries, so the evergreen hollies will not do the job. When you look for a pollinator, make sure its bloom schedule (early, mid,late or overlapping season) is suited to pollinate the particular variety of I. verticillata you have now. The berry schedule sounds about right based on the plants in my own yard.

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