Gardening

Holly berries


Question: holly berries


Good morning,
I would like to know if, having planted two holly trees nearby, it is possible that the female produces berries even though these are of 2 different types (the male with green leaf and yellow end and the female all green leaf).
Thanks!

Answer: holly berries


Dear Vittorio,
hollies (ilex aquifolium) are evergreen shrubs, present in Italy even in the wild; they are dioecious plants, that is to say the female flowers and the male flowers bloom on different plants; so if you want holly and healthy hollies full of berries, it is necessary to place female specimens in their home, as the males do not produce fruit. To encourage the development of many berries, at least one male specimen is placed near several female specimens, so that these plants can be properly pollinated. It is not necessary for the male to be of the same identical variety with respect to the female, since these are plants of the same species, although the foliage may sometimes appear very different (presence of streaks for example). The difference will be in the seeds, which can generate plants of a hybrid variety between the two, or plants similar to the mother or father. Hollies are quite common plants, both in the undergrowth and in the gardens; for this reason it often happens that those who possess only female plants, find themselves with many berries, thanks to the pollen provided by the male specimens placed in the surrounding gardens. This is because pollinating insects often move for several meters a day; and also the pollen is transported also by the wind, being able therefore to cover very wide spaces.
In recent years breeders have been trying to obtain self-fertile hollies, that is to say that they produce both female flowers and male flowers; in fact, however, these varieties of holly are not very easy to find in the nursery.