The Mistletoe plant itself is an evergreen with many translucent white berries. It actually grows on host plants and it has a definite preference for certain species. Mistletoe plant can be grown indoors on a small tree or outside on an established nurse plant.

Mistletoe plant is actually a parasitic plant that lives off another tree. Its favorite hosts are hawthorn, lime, apple, poplar, and conifers. Mistletoe plant bear seeds inside the berries. Mistletoe plants are best planted when they are fresh and they are harvested between March and April. You can check their preferred host trees for caches of the berries. Also you will really need a host plant for the seeds to germinate and grow upon. Growing the mistletoe plant indoors will actually require a small potted tree for the seeds to latch onto. Orchard apples are really perfect for mistletoe growing and may be seeded. The parasitic nature of the mistletoe plant really means it will take nutrients and moisture from the host, so be cautious which plants you choose to seed.  


  How to Grow Mistletoe Plant

Make sure you only use fresh berries for mistletoe growing. You have to remove the seed from the berry. To actually do this, you can squeeze out the seed and then rub off most of the sticky coating. Rinse the seed very well and then plant the seeds. In the wild mistletoe plant actually grows on host plants but this condition is not necessary for germination. Most species of mistletoe seed really needs light for germination but can also sprout in moist seed flats. You can use a potting mix with generous amounts of peat in a flat. Sow several mistletoe seeds and mist the medium until damp. You can place a lid or plastic over the flat and then place it in a well lit area with temperatures at least sixty degree Fahrenheit. The mistletoe plant will need to be moved to a host plant to grow on, but rooting can be sporadic. Preferably, you should just push the mistletoe seeds into a host plant’s bark and spritz them daily with water in other to keep them moist. Germination may actually take several months depending on the light, moisture and temperature conditions.

Some schools of thought say you need to make a cut in the bark of the host tree and then push the mistletoe seeds inside, but this is not strictly necessary. No matter how you do plant, fruiting may take about 4 to 6 years from germination. Make a cut in a host tree’s bark for transplant. The seedlings are ready for transplant when they have some true leaves. Insert the roots into the cut bark and then pack with moist moss. Make sure you keep the area misted until the seedling attaches to the host.


Mistletoe Care

Mistletoe plant is not actually prone to damage from insects and but it has few disease problems. Mistletoe plants are diocieous, which means each is either male or female. The slow growth rate of the plant means you won’t know which you have until about 4 years. If you just get flowers and there are no berries, it means your plant is male. This is why it is vital to plant several mistletoe seeds at the same time. The care of mistletoe plant is minimal, but you will want to give the host plant some extra TLC as the mistletoe plant saps some of its energy. Apply fertilizer in spring and also watch the host for pest and disease problems. Make sure you keep the host tree watered. Mistletoe plant will take off after the 4th year and is very hardy, even to the point of becoming a nuisance. Mistletoe gets all its needs from the air and the host plant. In most areas, like California, prevention and control are the issue with mistletoe plant, which spreads like wildfire. Make sure that you are not adding to the problem when you plant them outside. 

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