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Mr. Smarty Plants - Pollination of dwarf wax myrtles in Lucas TX

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Saturday - January 02, 2010

From: Lucas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Pollination of dwarf wax myrtles in Lucas TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently planted 3 dwarf wax myrtles then realized all were females. Do you know if the full-sized version can be used to pollinate the dwarfs? Any idea how close the pollinator needs to be?

ANSWER:

The truth of the matter is, all of the wax myrtle plants at the nursery probably do have berries, because they are all females. Customers generally want the berries, because of the attractions to birds, and you may find it difficult to locate a male for purchase.  They are reproduced by cloning, so that all the plants are females, exact copies of the parent plant. The "dwarf" version of Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) is actually not a different species, but rather a selection of lower-growing plants of the same species. If the dwarf and full-size plants are of the same species and bloom at the same time, there should be no problem. Are you sure your full-size plants are male?  As we mentioned, the plants at the nursery are likely all female; they have berries when they are placed in the nursery, because they have been pollinated in the growers' fields before being shipped to the nursery. However, comes the next Spring, with no nearby male, the females will have no berries, and will be indistinguishable from males. Both males and females bloom, only the pollinated female has berries. Generally, one male plant can pollinate any number of females within about a 40-ft. radius. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

 

 

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