American holly from seed?

bruce1_2009October 29, 2010

I have acquired several dozen berries of Ilex opaca and was wondering if anybody in this formum has successfully germinated the seeds? I understand that volunteers commonly show up around the parent plants, but that they are difficult for the gardener to propagate. Can anyone advise me?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I don't think so much difficult as slow...what's your patience level:)

Most holly are very slow from seed and may take years to germinate. There are no longer holly on my own property and I still pull seedlings, my guess is bird planted, passing through the digestive tract of a bird can go a long ways towards 'washing' seeds...

Clothiers: Ilex opaca , American Holly: wash seed 3x daily 14 days, then sow @ 72úF for slow germination..... up to 18 months in bagged pots.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 11:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the advice. As a rule I am not the most patient persson in the world, but I can learn! I have thought of the bird connection myself, and how perhaps digestive acids in the bird's stomach may erode the seed coat enough to let moisture and air in. I googled and found Clothiers walk and talk site on the web. I had never heard of him. In the process I found the Forest Service's Woody seed manual and Deno's propagation manual as well. I will try Mr. Clothiers method, perhaps scarifying a few of the seeds to see if that makes a difference. Thanks again

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I hope you bookmarked the Clothiers site for future reference, it's a reliable source of many years. The very few times I've found germination to be different than his suggestions, it has been when sowing seed immediately after harvesting with no storage at all.

If propagating is interesting to you - from seed and other methods - you might look for a copy of Making More Plants, Druse. Very well illustrated and there is a detailed germination guide for many plants in the back there too - his first suggestions are often for freshly harvested seed, followed by those for seed dried and stored.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I HAVE bookmarked Clothier's site and I am sure it will be something I go back to again and again. Thanks for the tip.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 4:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I will wait for the volunteers. I just got a female plant to go with my HUGE boy plant. She is little but she has lot of berrys.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have always found the volunteers to have sharp points all over their leaves where the parent plants do not.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have successfully grown a 6" am. holly tree from a volunteer. Now I need to know if I pinch it back, etc. Can anyone help?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:50PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Grasses from seed
I'm getting ready to sow a variety of (native NA) grasses...
floating seed trays
I used to see styrofoam seed trays that would float...
Germination time for Lily of the Valley started indoors
As a newbie, this is my first year starting plants...
Question about growing from seed in small greenhouse
Hi everyone, I bought a small greenhouse from Ocean...
Thank you All
I've been on GardenWeb forever, but I lurk mostly,...
patchworkfarm (z6 CT)
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™