Mountain Holly Tree Seeds

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About & Species

Mountain Holly
(Ilex montana)

The Mountain Holly tree, also called the Mountain Winterberry, is native to the Eastern United States - where it grows in high elevations from Massachusetts to Georgia. It has the largest berries of any native Holly. The red and yellow berries stay on the tree into mid-winter. The berries are eaten by wildlife such as wild turkey and birds. White-tailed deer eat the foliage and twigs. Grows 30-40 feet tall.

Soil Type: well-drained, wooded slopes from New York to Tennessee, Georgia and Eastern Alabama.

Zones: 5 to 7

Germination Range: 60-80%

Stratification Requirement: Seed requires 4-6 months warm stratification followed by 120 days cold stratification.

Indoor Planting: If your seeds require stratification or scarification – do the recommended pretreatment before planting indoors. Planting Instructions: Fill a container with seed starting mix to about ½ inch from the top. Place your seeds 1 inch to 1 ½ inches below the soil surface. Gently water your seeds to keep moist, not soaking wet. Heat & humidity is critical for germination. Germination may occur in 1 week or as long as 3 months (depending on the species). Place the seed container on a heat mat under growing light(s). Keep your growing lights on 14 hours per day. Keep your heat mat on 24 hours per day. Once your seeds germinate, move each seed into its own container under the growing lights and on the heat mat. Keep your seedlings indoors for 2-3 months before transplanting outdoors in the spring (May to June).

Outdoor Planting:  If your seeds do not require stratification: the best time to plant tree and shrub seeds outdoors is after the last frost in your area (spring). In the Northern states – the best time to plant seeds outdoors is from May to June. If your seeds require pretreatment: you should plant your seeds outdoors before the ground freezes in your area (late September to early November). Your seeds will naturally stratify during the cold winter. Germination usually occurs in May or during the spring season.