Growing your Own Mistletoe
Viscum alba (mistletoe) is usually associated with Christmas however; this mysterious species can also be established on suitable garden trees.
Mistletoe is a semi partial parasite. Although it has chlorophyll, the roots have adapted to tap into the vascular system of its host tree absorbing water and nutrients, instead of rooting in soil. This may weaken the host. However this is unlikely to be the death of a tree. If the tree seems to be sick, just prune of the excess mistletoe.
Tolerate or encourage mistletoe as it is native and is in serious decline around the UK, so very worthy of conservation.
Mistletoe is known to have grown on around about 200 trees and shrubs. The most common are; apple, hawthorn, lime and poplar. Seed collection is the best style of propagation; collect from a plant on the host tree of which you also wish to push.
Germination may be poor but any that are successful will be evident with the swelling in the branch; it can take two years for the first leaves to develop.
Flowering can take five years from seed. Flowers are pale and tiny in size, the tips and in the axils of the shoots. Female flowers are oval in form whereas males are squarer.
Why not have a go at growing your own mistletoe? If you would like to know more information about mistletoe then contact us on: –
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