Romance in the Garden (dioecious plants)

dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening

All too often I hear people complain that they bought a particular plant specifically for its fruit or berries, only to be disappointed that they produced neither. Even though the plant was grown in ideal conditions, there was no production, so the gardener blames himself or herself. What these gardeners didn’t realize is that some plants are dioecious plants meaning they produce female and male flowers on separate plants. The female plants produce the berries and fruit but require a male plant nearby to produce the pollen for pollination. Usually one male plant will suffice for several female plants, but they must be grown in close proximity.

Unfortunately when purchasing these plants the nursery often fails to educate the gardener on the issue of dioecious plants. Other plants also have both female and male flower parts in the same flower, but require the pollen from another seedling of the same species to cross pollinate, and set the fruit. This is often the case with edible fruits but does occur in ornamentals as well.

Knowing this simple fact when you go shopping for your favourite fruits and berries will save you a lot of frustration and disappointment. Be sure to do your homework and ask the nurseryman at your garden centre for help. Plants should be well marked at the garden centre with a female or male tag. You will need to purchase one of each and plant them in the same general area.


Below is a list of some of the plants that fall into this category:

Taxus (Yews)

Dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening

Ilex (Hollies)

Dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening

Malus (apples and crab apples)

Dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening

Actinidia (Kiwis)

Dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening

Rhus (sumacs)

Sambucus (elderberries)

Dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening

Vaccinium (blueberries)

Viburnum Pyrus (pears)

Passiflors (passionflowers)

Humulus (Hops)

Dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening

American Bittersweet Vine

Dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening


Dioecious plants with Sensible Gardening. For fruit and berry production you often need both a female and male plant. See which plants fall into this category.

( Some photos are from Pixabay )
(some links go to my Amazon Affiliate Account)

Tagged berries, cross pollinate, dioecious plants, female plant, fruit, male plant

About Lynne Cherot

It's been a life time of gardening and many years of working in the nursery trade, but now I enjoy exploring and creating in my own gardens and farm fields . I'm passionate about gardening and work alongside my husband who takes care of our apiary. Bees & flowers make a great team! Hopefully by sharing my garden knowledge, your gardening will be easier and more enjoyable.
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2 thoughts on “Romance in the Garden (dioecious plants)

  1. This is really great information. I had a neighbor ask me once about his elderberry and I wish I had known this info then. I will have to return and read a lot more. Thanks.

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