The Q&A Archives: Holly

Question: I need some male chinese hollies to fertilize Nellie R. Stevens for red berries. Any suggestions?

Answer: This particular holly sets berries parthenocarpically, meaning it does not absolutely require a nearby male holly as pollen source. Berry set usually increases once the plant has become well rooted and established and matured a bit, meaning several years after planting. If you wish to try to increase berry set, you might look for the related cultivar, "Edward J.Stevens" to serve as the pollen source or possibly a male Chinese holly plant (Ilex cornuta.) Or, you may find that your neighbors plantings include some and will be sufficient. (One male is ample for multiple females.) Please check with your local retailers to see what they may have available either now or next spring. There is a dealer locator at the Monrovia web site to help with contact information.

Enjoy your holly!

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