Nertera granadensis - (Nertera depressa) is a tiny, mound-forming plant with bright green minute leaves, rather like a small Thyme, and slender creeping stems. In spring the Nertera produces a dusting of tiny white flowers which, in autumn, give rise to small but stunning, shiny orange berries. Hence its common name of Coral Beads or Pin Cushion Plant.
For such a delicate looking plant it is quite hardy - but not frost hardy. It will survive most winters in a cool greenhouse. Its normal habitat ranges from South East Asia through to Antarctic via Australasia
Well suited as houseplant for its dense moss-like mat forming habit. It can be grown in a pot, but also looks good in a shallow earthenware pan.
For warmer areas it makes a good rockery plant - spreading through and over stones.
needs: The Nertera likes good light including some direct sun, and a
winter minimum of 7C. Mist the plant occasionally to increase humidity.
Care: Water freely throughout the growing season but reduce this to a minimum in winter. (Do not allow the roots to dry out). The plant can be stood outside during the summer and brought in before the cooler nights, and hopefully when luxuriant with berries. The plants can be overwintered but most are disposed of after the berries have finished. gentle watering from below in a saucer is best.
Good for: A small, easy to maintain compact houseplant. Stunning orange berries to brighten up a gloomy autumn day. Ideal as a short-term plant or where space is limited.
Aphids may be a problem - and hard to see in the dense foliage. If grown in a glass house, then red spider mite can be a problem.
Easy - twist a clump of rooted stems off and put in pot! Keep enclosed in clear plastic bag for a few days only, then carry on growing as above.
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