Ardisia crenata

This species is an evergeen shrub or small tree. Its range of distribution extends from Japan to India. The leathery, dark green leaves are very attractive. The pink, 5-merous flowers with joined petals are pretty, and the many small, coral-red berries that remain on the plant for at least six months are an additional decorative feature. The thickened edges of the leaves, inhabited by nitrogen-fixing bacteria living in a symbiotic relationship with the leaf, are typical of the species.

It does well in full sun at normal room temperature. It requires cooler conditions – 15°-18°C (59°-64°F) – in winter. Water regularly. It tends to become leggy, so cut back to within 8 cm (3 in) of the base in spring. Propagate by sowing seeds at a temperature of 20°C (68° F). Alternatively, take tip cuttings. These require a temperature of 25° C (77° F) to form roots.

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