Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Karen Arthur
Posted on: February 16, 1999

Several years ago, I purchased a Bayberry from you.

I’ve since heard from several sources that you need two bushes (like blueberries) in order to get them to produce fruit. Is this true? If so, I’ll have to buy another one.

You are perfectly correct. Bayberry produces male and female plants which means some plants produce only pistilate (female) flowers and some only staminate (male) flowers. To get fruit on the female bushes a male bush must be nearby to provide the pollen for fertilization.

Unfortunately, the sex of seed grown seed cannot be determined until they are old enough to flower. Getting only one more plant could mean that when they bloom you will find that you were unlucky and they are both the same sex. To make sure that you have at least one plant of each sex you might wish to plant a package of seed and thereby get sufficient numbers to have good odds of getting about half of each sex. Once you have sexed them, you can supply your friends with gifts of the surplus plants! You might consider using them as a hedge so that they take up less room as they mature.

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