Growing Guide for Mistletoe seeds

The following information has been found to work the best but there is no guarantee of success as there are too many exterior factors that can affect the germination.
Mistletoe seeds are covered by a sticky outer casing or berry, this is mainly to make them tempting to animals as a food source.
Mistletoe is a semi parasitic plant which is normally found growing wild on old apple trees.
In nature the berries are formed in late winter, and take a couple of months to mature.
The berries by this time have started to shrivel up and are starting to mature.
By the time late winter arrives the seeds in their semi dry berries are ready for the birds to pick.
With the sticky interior of the berries now being ready, when the birds try to eat them they get stuck in their beaks.
With the birds being in old apple trees they try to scrape of the sticky berry by rubbing their beak in cracks and crevices in the bark of the tree.
This is where they germinate best.
This is what we are trying to achieve when trying to grow these plants.
The old tale about cutting nicks in the tree will only damage the tree and has no effect on the seeds.
Birds don’t carry knives, and a fresh cut, wont be a naturally moist pocket in the tree.
The seeds in a dry berry are supplied in a canister.
They are best kept in the canister in the fridge (not freezer) until planting time.
Planting time is normally the beginning of March.
To get the berries ready for planting it is advisable to fill the canister (to soak the berries) with cold boiled water.
This is best done a couple of days before they are needed.
Put the canister with the soaking berries back in the fridge.
The object is to push the seed including berry into a moist pocket of bark so it is secure in its new home.
A good idea is to tie a piece of string etc around the branch to remind you where you have planted the seeds.

When ready for planting, find an old gnarled apple tree with moist crevices in the bark.
Germination can take 4 to many months, they are very slow growing but if the conditions are correct you should see growth the following year.
We have had success with this method as it copies nature.
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