Question of the Week – Number 1: January 20, 2022

“Why doesn’t my Nellie R. Stevens holly have many berries this year?”

Normally my reply would have been that there might have been cold weather while the plant was in bloom, thereby limiting bee activity to the flowers. No bees = no pollination = no berries.

However, fruit set for 2021 was very greatly impacted by the extreme cold of late February last year. The plants were gearing up to leaf out and bloom, and the cold froze the primordial flower buds, or at least it did in our landscape.

Continued Below

Since the plants survived just fine, assuming we don’t have a repeat of that awful cold, 2022 should be a much more fruitful year. Other holly varieties can be expected to behave in the same way.

(Note that all Nellie R. Stevens hollies produce both male and female flower parts, so each plant should produce fruit once pollinated.)

Posted by Neil Sperry
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