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Mistletoe success!

I bought myself a Mistletoe Kit last year which arrived in February.
Attached the berries (after several attempts!) to the cherry tree.
50 berries used and at least 6 have now taken and are putting out 'clamps' to hold themselves to the tree.
They look quite weird!

“Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,913
    Oh, that’s wonderful. Thank you for the photos. I’ve never seen that before.

    Somewhere in the murky depths of my consciousness early this morning I heard that Blackcaps spread the seeds about. We have a pair of Blackcaps, but no mistletoe.

    I live in hope.🙂
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,288
    Sorry if this dampens your sense of achievement Madpenguin but I tried this several years ago, got to the stage you had reached, and then over the summer all the little sprigs turned up their mistle-toes. I hope you have more success.
    Rutland, England
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,498
    I know the success rate is not good,or it would be growing everywhere! 
    Germination alone is about 10% and I think I have done that.
    Will keep you posted to see just how far these babies can go!!  :)
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,288
    Go to Burleigh Park outside Stamford, it grows everywhere there and I have no idea why. Good luck with your endeavour madpenguin.
    Rutland, England
  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener Posts: 1,220
    The first lot of 50 I tried had a very good germination rate but then all disappeared over the year, or so I thought. Four years later I discovered 3 small plants on a hawthorn tree. I've since added 3 more plants on an apple tree and 1 more on the hawthorn (out of another 50 berries!).
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    I lived in France briefly and it's much more widespread there.  Is that just because they have more of the right kind of host trees?
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,913
    edited May 2020
    You were obviously more awake than I was, philippa. I missed all the bit about the thrushes and their toilet habits.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • JessumJessum Posts: 81
    Over thirty years ago I worked in a bank in a small village (remember those)? A customer mentioned about growing mistletoe at Christmas because we must have had some in the small banking hall.
    If my memory serves me correctly this is what you have to do:  Keep the berries until the spring (or maybe summer - can't remember). Then on the underside of an apple tree branch make a small cut in the bark to make a little flap.  Then mix the berries with a bit of damp moss and tuck it into the little flap. Close it up by tying twine round the branch and then germination may happen.  Can't remember how long this is expected to take....
    I'd love to know if this works as I don't have an apple tree but I always remember (partially) what she said....
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Congrats, its great when things work out.  :)
  • I just found this thread while pondering about Blackcaps eating mistletoe berries (and wiping the seed off their beaks onto branches). Lovely photos in the first post of the thread - I wonder how they're getting on a year later. I've not personally come across mistletoe on cherry, but it seems to be listed as a possible host (but it just doesn't work on some species of tree).

    It will soon be 10 years since I made a start in my own garden with mistletoe seed on several trees (having read correct instructions for what to do). Here's the story on my site:

    For anyone else who fancies starting mistletoe, now is the right time to sow the seed. But there is so much nonsense out there (including from TV gardeners, the RHS, etc.) - we've even seen some of it repeated in this thread. To summarise:

    • Take fresh berries (not old Christmas ones...)
    • Squeeze out seed, and stick on a thinnish branch - like a bird might perch on - using the adhesive that comes with the seed - once dry, it sticks fast.
    • Use a host tree that mistletoe grows on: Apple, Hawthorn, Rowan, and others (but doesn't work on all species).
    • Don't make cuts in the bark, or cover the seed with anything. They almost certainly won't grow if you do these things. Just do what a bird might do.
    • They'll germinate anywhere and on anything (even non-living objects) - it's whether the host tree reacts in the correct way that allows them to grow.
    • And that's about it, apart from giving them time. They germinate quickly, if you look closely, but take a few years to produce significant growth.
    As long as you do the above, I find that essentially 100% germinate, and most of those grow so long as they're on an appropriate host.

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