19 messages
04/11/2013 at 22:09

HI All,

I'm hoping someone out there can give me a bit of advice about my holly bush

(which is rapidly turning into a tree!).  I planted it about eight years ago and every

year upto this year I've had lots of lovely berries - this year I've counted only three!

It's the varigated type with green and gold leaves (no prickles).  Am I right in

thinking it's the male which bears berries?  Beside it is the female (I think) 

which is very prickly but has the same coloured leaves.  I'm at a loss to know

why I don't have berries this year - can anyone help me with this please?

I should say that the problem started in the spring, because there were

hardly any flowers on it, hence no berries.

04/11/2013 at 22:12

Sounds like golden king...a female!   And bears the berries.

Prob the flowers were frosted.  

04/11/2013 at 22:42

I never get many, this year only one bush has any and only a few

04/11/2013 at 23:38

If I recall correctly you need a couple of male hollies to help set berries on Golden King.  And I remember comsidering J C van Tol for this very purpose years back. 

It seems whomever classified hollies like this had a sense of humour but I think he/she was simply comfused or not so bright 

04/11/2013 at 23:45

and Silver Queen a male 

 l'd love to hear the justification for those two.

05/11/2013 at 06:07

Hi Flowersfor bees -  as you say the problem stems from the fact that you had few flowers - I wonder if this could be due to the rotten summer we had before (2012) with hardly any sunshine or warmth to ripen the wood which is needed to produce flowers and fruit?

However, I've seen lots of well-berried hollies around this year and if it was down to weather conditions you'd think it would be a more general problem

If you only saw a few flowers it can't be down to the lack of pollinating insects in the cold spring and summer.

I suggest that you make sure there's no grass etc growing around the base of the tree, and then, in February give it a little sprinkling of a high potash fertiliser and make sure it's watered in well.  That should remind it to flower in 2014 

05/11/2013 at 08:26

J C van Tol is I think self fertile so does not need another holly nearby to produce berries. I think it was very cold this year at around the time hollies flowered so there are unlikely to be too many berries.

05/11/2013 at 08:31

I meant to help,pollinate golden king  punkdoc.  friend of mine has several hollies and one in particular has masses of berries.  My golden king has some berries but I prune ......trim.....annually to maintain its shape so lose some berries because of that

05/11/2013 at 16:33

it needs a partner ,you have to have a male and female bush unless its a self fertilizing one.

05/11/2013 at 18:05

We have loads of holly berries this year - very few last year - and a bumper crop the year before.  So they do vary quite widely.

Its funny how you never notice the flowers on holly (and I always forget to look)

05/11/2013 at 18:10

We don't ever get many on ours.

Don't 

know if its an old wives tale, but they say the harsher the winter the more berries

05/11/2013 at 18:15

Lily, I guess the harsher the winter the fewer the berries cos the birds will have gotten them. 

05/11/2013 at 21:29

Thanks everyone for your input - I will try everything you've suggested and

hope for the best next year.  I'll have to try to get some fake berries to tie

on my holly for Christmas this year!  I did wonder about the cold, late Spring

this year and I remember being really worried about the lack of bees in my

garden - I didn't see any until well into summer, but by then it was too late.

Today I took delivery of a lovely bee house, which I hope will help some of the

poor things to survive whatever this winter throws at us all. Will let you know

how it goes!   

05/11/2013 at 21:35

got lots but will put a few old cds in the branchs to scare the birds

05/11/2013 at 21:53

Flowers, ivy berries dipped in red paint are good for decoration,

06/11/2013 at 12:35

Brilliant!  Thanks a lot for that tip Nutcutlet - I have lots of ivy berries, so will

keep that in mind as Christmas approaches.  

As you are my main mentor Nutcutlet, I wonder if I could ask you if you know

anything about bee houses?  As mentioned in my previous post, I've bought

one, but now I'm not sure whether I should situate it flat against a south facing

wall.  It comes provided with a wire to hang it from, but I'm a bit worried about

the bees swinging around in the sea breezes!  However, if I fasten it against

the wall, will that stop the bees from using it - maybe they need a front and

back exit?  Any ideas gratefully received!  Think I'll try and pop a photo on

here later so you can see what I'm talking about!

06/11/2013 at 12:47

Hi here's the photo of the bee house!  I wonder if I should leave a gap between

the wall and the bee house, so that they can crawl straight through from front

to back - there probably isn't much room for them to turn around!

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/33725.jpg?width=270&height=350&mode=max

 

06/11/2013 at 21:39

I have to admit my only bee box was screwed to the wall by someone else. I've always just let them find their own homes in the past and I'm sure they coped very nicely but I didn't get to watch them. I'll have more bee homes next year

06/11/2013 at 22:56

Thanks Nutcutlet.  I've never had a bee box before......just bought it on a whim!

I'd really like to put it near my wildflower garden  but worry that it might

get saboutaged by youngsters on their way home from the local pub., so 

think I'll put it on the front of the house, as it faces south, so should keep them

cosy (if we get any sun this winter that is!!)  I'm about to PM you! 

 

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