Ardisia crenata – Ardisia crenata – Indoor plants – Ardisia crenata – Apartment

To the genus ardisia belong hundreds of plants, spread in most of the tropical areas of the globe; in reality, in the nursery we find almost exclusively Ardisia crenata, a species native to Central Asia, in the zone going from India to China and Japan.

In the places of origin, it becomes a shrub of medium size, on the contrary, when cultivated in pot, it keeps below the metre of height; in particular, in the European nurseries, there are often varieties selected for their reduced dimensions and for the compactness of the vegetation.

This small evergreen shrub is very decorative, it has big oval leaves, of dark green colour, leathery, with wavy, glossy margin; in spring, at the apex of the branches, small white star-shaped flowers bloom, slightly perfumed, pensule, united in racemes.

In autumn the flowers are followed by small red berries; the brightly coloured berries can remain on the plant for months, often even after the flowering of the following year; moreover, the branches carrying the berries tend to defoliate, making the fruits stand out even more.

Ardisia crenata

How they are grown

foglie Ardisia crenata These plants are easy to grow, as they can withstand even unsuitable conditions without being excessively damaged; in reality, for a true healthy and luxuriant plant, an abundant flowering, and berries always coloured and decorative, it is good to follow some indications.

First of all, it is essential to find a suitable place for our slender crenata: this plant does not like the direct sun, which tends to stain the foliage and ruin the entire plant, so let’s choose a place well-lit but where the sunlight arrives filtered, so as not to harm our plant.

Moreover, we remind you that the first rule for having a beautiful lush plant is to bury it in the most suitable soil: the ardisia crenata is satisfied with any soil, but we have excellent results only using a soil rich in organic matter, soft, and very well drained; if we want to grow this shrub in pots remember to repot every year, in autumn, changing most of the soil of the container with fresh and rich soil.

Watering will be aimed at keeping the soil slightly moist, but not soaked in water, always waiting for it to dry completely between one watering and the other, so in the spring and summer we water frequently, while during the cold months we provide water only sporadicametne, so as to avoid the development of harmful water stagnations. From March to October let’s mix the water from the watering of the specific fertilizer for flowering plants, every 10-12 days.

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In the house or garden

frutti ardisia crenataIn Europe, the Ardisie are grown as apartment plants, with minimum temperatures close to 15-18°C; in reality in the original areas the winter temperatures are decidedly lower, and these plants can easily withstand short periods of slight duration. Therefore, we can cultivate them at home, in a large pot, but also in the garden, in the ground.

Also in the second case we will find for the shrub a bright position, but far from direct sunlight, and we will use a rich and drained soil, remember in any case that these shrubs do not stand very intense frost, and especially do not stand the continuous cold for weeks and weeks, so if the winter looks very harsh we should cover the plants grown outdoors with some farm fabric, so as to protect them from frost.

Or we should keep the plants in a pot, so as to move the container in a protected place during the coldest weeks of the year. However, it can happen that ardisias grown outdoors are damaged by frost; in this case it is better to prune the entire plant to the ground: the following spring from the roots will begin to develop new stems.

We also remember that often in nurseries are sold specimens that have been grown in greenhouses for a few years, so it is difficult to expose these plants to the winter climate of northern Italy in a sudden, because they have acclimatized to the greenhouse.

For this reason, before planting a slate in the garden, first of all we ask the nurseryman if the plant has been grown in a heated greenhouse; in this case, let’s expose it to the cold little by little, avoiding leaving it open during the coldest days, for at least a few years.

Extraordinary maintenance

pianta ardisia To always have a plant of ardisia crenata lush and shining is necessary to remember some small things, apart from watering, repotting and fertilizing, remember to keep clean the berries, which, remaining on the plant for months, tend to spoil and dust, especially at home, then periodically spray them with water, or clean them with a soft brush.

When the climate is very dry, and when the climate is often very dry, we periodically vaporize the entire canopy with demineralized water, even every day if the air is very dry.

Slate plants tend to produce more stems from the same root; if some stems or branches are smaller than others, and do not produce flowers, it is good to cut them at the base, to allow the plant to produce new stems and branches more vigorous.

Crenate Slate: Slate Diseases

As mentioned above, slate plants are not weak plants and do not become very ill frequently. With the correct amounts of water, frequent repotting if grown in pots or otherwise adequate fertilization, and the right exposure a slate plant is unlikely to get sick.

However, even this plant may be suffering from diseases and the easiest to find are the cochineal and aphids, as well as a withering of the leaves but that occurs only in summer if the temperatures are too high.

Cochineal is a parasite that affects many plants and can also be found on slate. In case of attack it can be sufficient or a mechanical removal, if they are small portions of the plant, or you can intervene with a specific pesticide that can be purchased in any nursery or garden center.

Another parasite that affects the slate are the aphids, also these parasites quite frequent on plants and affect many different types of plants. Aphids are lymph-sucking insects that attack the leaves on the bottom page and produce a sugary substance as waste. Aphids steal sap from the plant and therefore weaken it even if limited infestations are not lethal. However, on the sugary patina that deposits on the leaves, can easily grow some fungi, the soot, so called because of their dark colour.

These fungi not only attack the leaves and weaken them, but with their blackish patina prevent photosynthesis, causing the leaves to dry up and then die. Aphids can be eliminated by using specific products sold in nurseries and garden centres and must be combated before the infestation reaches a significant size and especially before soot arrives.

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