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Mistletoe Viscum album

Growing Mistletoe: Tips at a Glance

The mistletoe bunches we kiss under at Christmas grow wild on trees where birds deposit the sticky seeds. (It takes four years for a bunch to form berries.)

  • Type Hemiparasitic shrub
  • Lifespan Perennial
  • USDA Zones 7-9
  • Light Needs sun to grow
  • Water Nourished by host
  • Hosts Broad-leaved trees
  • Design Tip Holiday decor
  • When to Plant February
  • Peak Season White winter berries

Mistletoe: A Field Guide

Mistletoe has a pagan mystique that has made it unwelcome in churches but popular at parties. Long considered an aphrodisiac (though the berries are toxic), the kissing bunch predates by millennia the Victorians and their rituals.

A parasite, European mistletoe grows wild on trees where birds deposit its sticky seeds. It is a slow grower; Viscum album takes four years to form its first berries. Eventually it grows into a large green-leafed globe and can be harvested to bring indoors for holiday decor. In the US, a more common type is Phoradendron leucarpum, with bigger clusters of berries.

Planting, Care & Design of Mistletoe

Planting, Care & Design

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