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House Plant Index

Ardisia crispa syn. crenulata

Flowers June, July
Potting or re-potting time February or March
Position in garden during summer Light shade
Potting Mixture 5

Coral ardisia, or spearflower, is a splendid plant for the house, and is extensively used in that capacity. The shiny leaves are about 3 inches long with scalloped margins; they are quite leathery in appearance. The reddish flowers, which

appear in early summer, are borne in small, loose clusters followed by numerous berries.

In time, the plants grow into compact little shrubs aglow with the persistent fruit. It is not unusual to see this year’s flowers blooming among last year's berries.

Ardisia should be watered daily, and it prefers a room temperature of about 65 degrees. The leaves may be attacked by scale; otherwise the plant is pleasantly free from insect pests.

Cuttings from new wood are used for propagating additional plants, as are spring-sown seeds. Seeds are difficult to handle without the assistance of a greenhouse, so cuttings are recommended.

Be sure that Ardisia is brought into the house prior to any frost in the fall, for the plant will shed its decorative berries if freezing fingers caress it even lightly.