A: ‘Nellie Stevens’ holly is partially parthenocarpic. This means it can produce berries without a male holly present, but you’ll get more berries if a male is blooming at the same time. One reputable online source says that Chinese holly, Ilex cornuta, can pollinate ‘Nellie Stevens’ holly. Chinese holly is the shrub that has so many spines on each leaf it’s scary to look at. But like all hollies, Chinese holly has both male and female types. Try to find a ‘China Boy’ holly to add to your landscape. As the years go on and this holly plus your male ‘Edward Stevens’ get bigger, you should get more berries on your ‘Nellie Stevens’ holly.
Q: We have two hibiscus plants that we bring inside (they’re in pots) every late fall. We never have been able to find when to prune these. When do we prune and how much? Deborah Gentile, email