The nertera is one of the most striking and original options that you can choose to decorate your home or garden with touches of green and orange tones, especially during the winter months, which is when its spectacular fruiting can be seen.
This little plant is very easy to care for, but if you want it to look its best, don’t go away and join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which we talk about the Nertera plant care.
Characteristics of the Nertera plant
These are the main characteristics of the Nertera plant:
- The Nertera are actually a whole genus of plants with about 15 species. They belong to the Rubiaceae family, like the coffee plant, and they are species that have their origin in South and Central America.
- They are all small perennial plants, usually no more than 10 cm high. In their original environment they develop with creeping bearingand they will also do so in your garden or pots if the conditions are good, growing wide to occupy the available space.
- The most common for its cultivation throughout the world is the nertera granadensisalso called coralito, uvita de agua or marble plantalthough it is also possible to see the Balfourian nerteraa little larger than the previous one.
- The most striking of the plant are its fruits, some orange, oval berries that grow in such a high number that they can practically occupy the entire surface of the compact bush, barely allowing the oval leaves to be seen. These fruits appear in autumn and usually extend during the winter. They are preceded by the small bloom of the plant, inconspicuous and easy to miss.
Location for the Nertera plant
As an original plant of rather warm environments, the nertera does not tolerate frost or very low temperatures. For this reason, it is common grow it indoors or, at least, move it inside during the cold months. Unless you live in a tropical environment, your nertera should not spend the winter away from home, as she does not tolerate temperatures below 7 ºC, and it is recommended that, in fact, she is around 12 ºC during the cold months.
It also does not tolerate very intense heatbeing its high range of ideal temperature around 23 ºC, so if you grow her outdoors, you should do so sheltered from the worst of the summer sun. In terms of light, the nertera requires a lot of lighting, although it does not tolerate direct sun in warm areas. Find a place with as much indirect light as possible, but protect it from direct sunlight, especially in the midday hours, the most dangerous.
The nertera plant also can grow in low light, although its development will be less. In winter, it is important to move it to a cooler location in the house where the temperature is around 12ºC so that the plant goes into vegetative rest and can flower and fruit during the following season as well.
Irrigation of the Nertera plant
With this plant it is important not to wet the part of the leaves, flowers or fruits when watering it, as it can cause problems with humidity and fungi. The best for it, in a pot, is water by immersion, submerging the pot in water for a few 5 minutes and then taking it out to let the excess water run out through the completely necessary drainage holes in the pot.
Water whenever the soil has dried beyond the topsoil, allowing more time in cold months. Do not use water with a high content of lime, which will affect the plant quite negatively. If you can’t use mineral or distilled water, let the irrigation water sit for at least 24 hours before submerging the pot in it to water.
Here you can learn more about When to water the plants.
Substrate for the Nertera plant
The nertera is not too demanding in this regard, the only important thing being that it is light, well-drained soil. For this, it is best to opt for a sandy substratealthough you can also use the universal mix that we often recommend: peat, coconut fiber and earthworm humus mixed in equal parts, together with a few handfuls of vermiculite and perlite. This way you will get a light, well-drained substrate that is very rich in nutrients, as well as beneficial microorganisms.
Fertilizer for the Nertera plant
If you want your nertera to give all the flowers and fruits possible to look spectacular, you will have to give it a periodic supply of fertilizer. It is best to use organic and ecological fertilizers, such as worm humus, compost or bokashi, which you can even make at home if you have space for it. Add about two centimeters of organic matter to the base of the plant every 15 or 20 days from spring to the end of summer and you will see how your nertera appreciates it quickly.
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