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For The Garden

Where can I find mistletoe seeds?

Author: Kelly Young
Issue: December, 2017, Page 113
ASK THE EXPERTS

Q - Where can I find mistletoe seeds? I’d like to plant some for the holidays while there is still time.

A - Mistletoe is a parasitic plant, which means it must grow on another plant to survive. Birds eat the white mistletoe berries and deposit the seeds on host tree branches in their droppings, where they germinate and tap into the host’s stems to steal water and nutrients. Because of its parasitic nature and need to pass through a bird’s digestive tract to germinate, it is virtually impossible to grow mistletoe in a home garden. You can find wild mistletoe growing in palo verde trees, ironwoods and mesquites in the low desert, but desert mistletoe is not the type we generally associate with holiday kissing traditions and tends to be too brittle for use as decoration. At higher elevations, you may discover the familiar, leafy mistletoe growing in cottonwoods, oaks, junipers and cypress.
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