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I Have Three Nandina Plants But No Berries, And Also…

Donna Asked

I have three nandina plants but no berries, and also two holly trees with not berries. What’s my problem?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Donna: Nandina domestica, commonly known as heavenly bamboo, are a nice colorful addition to the garden. They are typically evergreen and provide year-round interest, although they can defoliate if we have a harsh winter.

Unlike the larger growing species, some of the newer, more compact cultivars such as ‘Nana,’ ‘Gulf Stream,’ and ‘Firepower’ do not produce flowers or fruit but others such as ‘Harbor Dwarf’ will fruit with age. Not knowing exactly what you are growing in your garden I would suspect that they are not fruiting for one of two reasons. First, it may not be a fruiting cultivar or if they are new additions they may just need time. As for your hollies, it is the females that produce berries while the males are the pollinators. One male can pollinate up to seven females but not every male will pollinate every female. They need to flower at the same time, and for best fruit production they should be planted within 50 feet of one another. Specific males pollinate specific females. If you have two males, unfortunately you will never see fruit on these plants, but if you have females then the solution would be to plant a male. If you know exactly which cultivars you have I can give you suggestions for pollinators.

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