Apartment plants

Ardisia - Ardisia crenata


About four hundred species of evergreen trees and shrubs belong to the ardisia genus.
They are very ornamental plants, very slow growing, with bright red berries that remain from autumn to June the following year.
In particular, the Ardisia crispa is an erect shrub, originating from China, it can reach 60 - 90 cm in height; it has alternate leaves, dark green, glossy oblong lanceolate with wavy edges. The flowers are creamy white with red star-shaped shades, united in axillary panicles and bloom in June. The fruits are round coral red berries, which last until the time of the next flowering.


The crenata ardisia loves very bright positions, possibly even in full sun; in summer it can be taken outside, in the garden or on the terrace of the house, taking care to shade it on days of intense heat that could cause the leaves to yellow; in winter it is kept indoors, possibly near a window to allow the plant to grow at its best. The ideal climate for this plant is around 20 ° C, excessively low or excessively high temperatures cause the fall of fruits and leaves.


The watering of the ardisia must be regular from April to September, between one watering and another, the soil must dry on the surface, while remaining a little damp. In winter thin out the watering, taking care to vaporize the leaves often with distilled water. From April until the berries turn red add universal fertilizer to the water every 10-12 days.


The ideal soil for the cultivation of crenata is made of peat, sand and soil in equal parts. Because this plant needs frequent watering it is advisable to cultivate it in a very well drained soil, to avoid dangerous water stagnation; if desired, coarse-grained material can be added to the bottom of the pot to improve drainage.


To reproduce our a.crenata, it is necessary to sow in spring at five millimeters depth in fertile and humid soil at 24 degrees centigrade. When the shoots appear, the temperature must be lowered to 15 degrees. The cuttings are taken from May to August by the seven to eight cm long portions from the side shoots, planted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts and let them root and then transplant them after six to eight weeks.


The excessively high plants can be pruned in February, the branches are cut seven to eight cm from the base, when the cut does not emit more lymph it starts to water again to stimulate the plant to form new shoots. Among the new branches only the most vigorous will be left cutting the others.

Ardisia - Ardisia crenata: Pests and diseases

As for the diseases and parasites that could attack the plant, it is necessary to pay particular attention to aphids and scale insects. The green aphids attack the young leaves and the tender shoots; powdery mealybugs form white spots on ripe berries.