The Q&A Archives: Need more info about holly plants

Question: I just bought a Very Merry Holly plant from Home Depot - it says it produces RED berries. The Home Depot person told me it would germinate with the Blue Prince variety which produces BLUE berries. However, I just read on your website that Blue Prince only produces with a female BLUE variety. The FAQ on your website said that the Very Merry is BLUE, but the one I bought is not. Bottom line - the only varieties you offered at the store were the ones I bought - Very Merry (Red) and Blue Prince (Blue). Will these two varieties produce berries? And if not, what will? And where can I find them? Thank you.

Answer: Your Very Merry Holly plant is a Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta) and is self-fertile, meaning it does not need a pollinator and will freely produce berries all on its own. The reference to BLUE is the hybrid designation for Blue Meserve hollies. It's not the color of the berries but the parentage of the plant. Blue hollies need other blue hollies in order to produce berries. For instance, you'd need a Blue Princess and a Blue Prince for the Princess to produce berries; or you'd need a China Boy and a China Girl; or a Blue Boy and a Blue Girl. The Very Merry does not need a second plant in order to produce berries, but since you have a Blue Prince, you could add a Blue Princess and you would have two red berry bearing hollies (the Very Merry and the Blue Princess). Hope this clarifies things for you.

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