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Growing mistletoe

Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,187

In a rash moment I ordered a "grow your own mistletoe" kit and am gearing myself up to starting the berries off on a selection of trees around the garden. Has anyone else here tried this - any hints or experiences would be very welcome.

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,372

    I've tried twice, various approaches, press them onto bark, make a slit and press in. Various species of tree. 

    No luck.

    On both the years I tried it was a very hot summer, I wonder if they'd have done better with more moisture

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,437

    Alan Titchmarsh did it years ago with fresh mistletoe berries on Gardeners World. He made a little cut in the bark and pushed the berry in. A few took, can't remember, may have only been 2, but he did several.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,187

    Ah well, probably a long shot then. I just went out to position some seeds and got pelted by hailstones as a reward so beat a hasty retreat....

    The instructions do say that in a dry spring the seeds should be sprayed with water occasionally but I don't think I'll be needing to do that at the moment!

  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,187

    According to the instructions, the top host is apple but there's a list of other potential hosts. I only have minarette apple trees so they wouldn't be suitable. I've put some seeds on a couple of hawthorns and plan to put some on a willow and an ash. I'm also hoping to put some on my false acacia, which is listed as a preferred host, but when I went out into the garden the branches that looked reachable when I first thought of this and looked at them through my window turn out to be much higher than they appeared and rather inaccessible. The only low branch is over the field next door where they keep horses so I don't think that would be a good plan as I believe mistletoe is poisonous to horses.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,372

    It's growing on poplars not far from here.

    There's loads on trees along the M50, they might be on poplars as well, I haven't been along there lately, can't remember.

  • Mark 499Mark 499 Posts: 380
    I believe you need fully ripe mistletoe berries, a lot of people use the ones on xmas mistletoe but these are not ripe & so do not take.
  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,187

    The kit I bought came with "freshly harvested berries" so hopefully they are ripe. Some of them are bigger and squishier than others though. Anyway, I'm full of optimism rather than expectation! I expect the birds will eat them all....

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,372

    It will be good if the birds get involved, they eat the sticky stuff and wipe the seeds off on the tree, that's how they get spread. 

    They're more yellowish than white when they're ripe. They should be getting ripe by now

     

     

  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,187

    Actually it would be great if the birds could distribute them a bit for me as they can get a lot higher up than I can.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,372

    True.

    The downside to the up high for me was that having risked by neck putting the berries up there I wasn't risking it for watering

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