Ardisia Crenata, Christmas Berry
Ardisia crenata is a tiny erect evergreen shrub with just flowering branches that grows up to 1.5m tall in multistemmed clusters. The flowers are tiny, bisexual, white to pink, and frequently drop below the foliage. Anthers are yellow, while petaloid components are pinkish white. It features lovely glabrous red berries, a single-seeded drupe with a diameter of 5-8 mm, which has led to its widespread use as an ornamental plant in shaded areas.
- Common Name- Ardisia, Christmas berry, coralberry, spice berry, marlberry.
- Scientific Name- Ardisia crenata, Ardisia japonica, Ardisia solanacea, Ardisia elliptica, etc.
- Family- Primulaceae.
- Light- Bright, indirect light if grown indoors, partial shade outside.
- Water- Keep evenly moist at all times, not too wet or dry.
- Temperature- Optimal between 60-90 degrees, USDA zones 9-11 for most.
- Humidity- Tolerant of humidity but might need less watering if very humid out.
- Soil- Prefers well-drained soil, but is tolerant of many soil types.
- Fertilizer- Balanced slow-release fertilizer monthly in spring & summer.
- Pests- Leafcutter ants, birds, raccoons, mealybugs.
- Diseases- Fungal root rot.
About Ardisia Crenata
- Flowering: This plant produces small clusters of white or very pale pink flowers which bloom from late spring to early summer. Once the flowers have bloomed they’re followed by clusters of red berries, which last for a fair few months. The flowers and berries appear within the midsection of the tree.
- Foliage: As mentioned above the leaves grow on branches from a single stem usually, although multiple stem plants can also grow. The glossy dark green serrated leaves which are oval-shaped, grow to approximately 3 – 5 inches long and a couple of inches wide. Overall, the coralberry tree looks attractive with or without flowers and berries, especially if it’s pruned well.
- Displaying: The coral is a fine looking species which looks great in a prominent position that will be noticed by yourself and visitors. Obviously, the conditions (light, temperature etc.) need to be right. Also, great looking in a conservatory or hallway and grow well in greenhouses (although not seen much here).
- Pruning: I would advise growers to prune the Ardisia Crenata during spring before the flowers begin budding. This will keep the tree at a reasonable size and allow the foliage to become a nice rounded full shape.