Coral Bead Plant

Botanical Name: Nertera granadensis

Coral Bead Plant is an unusual-looking ornamental plant that grows in a thick mat of tiny, dark-green leaves on intertwining stems.

In early summer, small, white flowers appear followed by orange-red berries. The attractive berries can completely cover the foliage and will last for months.

Because of its need for cool temperatures and humidity, Coral Bead Plant can be somewhat difficult to please indoors.

Moving the container outdoors in spring will give it the cool air and bright light it needs to flower and produce berries. Just put the plant in a sheltered spot out of cold winds and direct sun. If the plant is kept very warm, it will be a foliage plant without berries. The plant will still be attractive. In fact, the foliage looks a lot like Baby's Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii).

Repot in spring only when it gets crowded. Its creeping stems need contact with soil to keep growing. This is a good time to divide the plant, if you want. Coral Bead Plant has shallow roots and is easy to divide for more plants. Because of its shallow roots, shallow pots will do.

Other common names for this plant are: Bead Plant, Pincushion Plant and Coral Moss. This plant is in the Rubiaceae family along with such unlikely relatives as the coffee plant and gardenia.

Coral Bead Plant Care Tips

Origin: New Zealand, Eastern Australia, Southeast Asia and South America 

Height: 3 in (8 cm); it spreads out rather than up.

Light: Bright light; no direct sun

Water: Keep soil evenly moist at all times.

Humidity: Moderate to high humidity. Mist it daily from the time it flowers until the berries have formed. You can increase humidity for the plant by putting it in a cachepot or on a tray with rocks or pebbles in the bottom with a little water. The rocks keep the pot above the water so the roots don't rot. I do this for some of my plants and it works beautifully to add humidity to the air around them.

Temperature: Cool to average 55-65°F/13-18°C

Soil: 2 parts peat moss-based potting mix with 1 part sand or perlite for good aeration

Fertilizer: Feed once a month with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half while the berries are on the plant.

Propagation: Division; gently pull apart clumps and plant them in separate containers. Can be grown from seed or from tip cuttings in spring.

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