Question re: I. 'Nellie Stevens' Holly

chippate(z7 NC)December 2, 2005

I've looked around on the internet and learned that although Ilex x 'Nellie Stevens' holly doesn't require a male pollinator for berries, it will set more berries if there is a male nearby. Can anyone confirm this based on their experience or knowledge? If so, what cultivar can you plant to serve as a pollinator.

Thanks in advance.

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Nellie Stevens is a hybrid between English and Chinese holly, so if you get a male Chinese holly you will be assured of heavy fruiting. Dirr lists two male cultivars, Gable #76, which is short and pyramidal, and Tall Stallion.

I've heard that Chinese hollies don't need males too, but then why are there so many Nellie Stevens around that don't fruit much? Too young, pruned at the wrong time? I've always wondered. There is a gorgeous Nellie Stevens at the front of Pender Nursery in Garner that fruits heavily, but there's hollies all over the place there, as it is a big wholesale nursery. One of the guys told me that the one there was 15 years old at the time and it takes a while for Nellies to look like that one.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 12:22PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nellie is one of the hollies that are parthenocarpic, meaning that they can set fruit without the male sperm. In my experience, a healthy Nellie will produce fairly bountiful berries without a compatible male pollinator nearby. It WILL produce a very heavy crop of fertilized berries if there is one in proximity.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 8:48AM
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scamper_z7(z8 NC)

Chippate---I've a row of 15 Nellie Stevens that I planted 3 years ago. Each season (and sometimes twice a year:>) every bush is LOADED with bright berries. Now, if I can just get them to spread out and grow tall and create the hedge I wanted, I'd be happy.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 10:26PM
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Nellie Stevens end up getting quite large. I've never seen a holly fruit more than once a year.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:02AM
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jbcarr(7 VA)

One thing people do to limit the berry production is trim the tree after flowering.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 10:22AM
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pricem11(z7 NC)

Another pretty heavy producer of berries by a sole Nellie Stevens here.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 10:13PM
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my Nellie stevens had lots of red berries two years ago when I planted it. none since. plant is healthy with much new growth and plenty of white flowers in spring. some web sites say it will need a male Chinese holly nearby to produce the red berries. a local nursery has told me that "china boy" holly is not the best choice. what cultivar will help my Nellie get red?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 7:03AM
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