Holly – Trouble Germinating

Q: Earlier this year, I collected berries from our Savannah holly. I let them dry and placed them in potting soil three weeks ago, but none has germinated thus far. What should I expect?

A: My bet is that the seeds are sterile. Savannah holly, Ilex x attenuata ‘Savannah’, is a hybrid of American holly, Ilex opaca, and dahoon holly (Ilex cassine). As you know, most hybrids, whether plant or animal, are sterile and cannot reproduce.