It’s harvest season. Even those who don’t harvest anything more than a cereal box off a shelf know that autumn means decorative berries. But did you know it also can also mean the brightness of autumn-blooming bulbs? Let’s finish this series on the fall garden (both online and off) with a few suggestions for both.
When you’re growing a plant for fruit (berries) as well as flowers, it is important to find out:
a) If it is dioecious (separate male and female plants);
b) If it needs a different cultivar or species flowering at the same time to set fruit; or,
c) If it’s self-fertile and berries on its own.
Don’t shy away from figuring out this little step – it’s the same process with many of our edible fruits such as the apple. You’ll still get flowers if you ignore it, but berries might never show up. Here are a few examples:
Ilex verticillata (Winterberry) – If you’re not growing this stunning native, you’re missing out on vibrant color for your garden and your holiday wreaths. Female plants require a male within a quarter mile, and one that blossoms at the same time, so check recommendations for the female you’re considering. To get started, think about ‘Winter Red’ or ‘Winter Gold’ (male: ‘Southern Gentleman’) – all are easily found. If size is a concern, check out the Berry Poppins series from Proven Winners. Cute, compact and berries up the chim-chim cheroo.