Sex and the single Gaultheria

Small bushes of Gaultheria (was Pernettya) mucronata are now in garden centres for use in winter planting schemes. They often prove to be disappointing purchases as they produce few berries in later years and also grow quite a bit taller. Most on sale are female plants and you need to get a male to get pollination in future. These are hard to come by as they don’t look so attractive so don’t sell well. The taller plant in the photo is a male and will be needed to pollinate the two red ones which will soon get taller. The small white plant ‘Pearls’ is one of a few that are self-fertile; it also stays quite small. These are easy plants to grow provided they have acid conditions and don’t dry out. They originate from the south of South America where they are known as prickly heath.

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1 Response to Sex and the single Gaultheria

  1. karen says:

    I always wondered why they didn’t come into Berry again. The flowers are quite pretty in the spring though. But without pollination they fail to produce berries. Have never seen a male on sale. Thanks for the info.

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