It is an evergreen shrub, of small size, which usually keeps under the 50-80 cm of height; there are dwarf varieties, with height less than 30 cm; it has a panel-like development, and roundish shape, with very thick ramifications.
The foliage is bright green, small, leathery and quite thick; in late spring they produce many white flowers, followed by the fruits, which ripen in autumn, remaining on the plant until the following spring: the fruits are roundish, with a diameter of 1-2 cm, of red colour; there are many cultivars with white or pink fruits.
The pernettye are dioecious plants, this means that there are plants which produce only masculine flowers, without producing fruits, and plants which produce only feminine flowers, which produce fruits. In order to have an abundant production of fruits, it is necessary to plant at least one male specimen near the female plants. The fruits of pernettya are edible.
The plants of Pernezia del Cile are grown in a sunny, or even semi-shady, position to allow them to receive sunlight for several hours a day; the pernezia mucronata and the gaultheria are rustic and resistant varieties, they do not fear the cold and can bear without any problems even long periods of continuous frost. However, it can happen that particularly adverse climatic conditions cause the fruits to fall during the winter months.
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From April to September it is necessary to water the Chilean Pernezia when the soil is well dry, especially if dry weather conditions persist. It is a good idea to check that the soil around Chilean Pernea remains moist but that no stagnation appears that could cause the formation of mould that could compromise its health.
In autumn and winter, the climate is generally sufficiently humid to allow us to avoid watering. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for green plants, every 20-25 days, mixed with the water of the watering.
These plants prefer soft and fresh soils, well drained and acidic, without limestone. When planting it is advisable to mix fertile soil, peat and sand to ensure proper support for the growth of the plant.
In order to multiply the plants of Chilean Perneia, in September, the semi-woody cuttings are taken with a foot of 7-10 cm and are rooted in soil mixed with sand after having treated them with rooting hormone.
For the selection we use the reproduction by seed in October in a cold box, we sow in a non calcareous compound.
Pernea of Chile – Pernettya mucronata: Parasites and diseases
The Pernettya mucronata is a fairly rustic and resistant plant in the natural environment. It usually suffers from root rot, which manifests itself with the sudden collapse of the plant resulting in leaf decay. It is hardly affected by pests and diseases.
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