Holly trees not producing berries

Julie Pettit asked 12 years ago
I live in south Co Wexford, about 2 miles from the sea. I have 3 or 4 different holly types in my garden, with a total of about 40 plants. They range from 3-10 years old but they have never produced any berries. They are very healthy looking plants and all are growing well. I understand that I need male and female types but whenever I ask in a garden centre no-one can ever tell me whether the plants are male of female. Any ideas?

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 3 years ago
If you have three or four types, the chances are that you have both male and female for pollination. Also it is likely that there are some male wild hollies in the area and the pollen will be carried by bees.

If they are growing well, this often delays fruiting and they will eventually settle down to berrying. They should do so by four or five years but if the ground is rich or you feed a lot and they grow quickly they may not set berries. Also the older established may be males.

You can easily check for males or female flowers, but looking at the open flower. The males have 4 pollen-carrying anthers and the females do not, but have a small round berry at the cetnre of the flower.