Ardisia solanacea, a native of India, is a glabrous shrub or small tree that will reach 20 feet tall in nature. In 5-gallon pots they will reach about 12 feet. Glossy leaves are up to 6 inches long by 2 inches wide.
Blooming Time: Spring small red berries that turn black as they mature follow the small rose-colored flowers.
Culture: Ardisia solanacea need partial shade with a moist rich soil. We grow ours under 52% shade all year long. The soil mix consists of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. They should be kept moist at all times. Fertilize weekly during the spring and summer months. Fertilize monthly during the winter months. Pot size and selective pruning help in controlling their size. Pruning should be done in late fall after the berries have ripened.
Propagation: Ardisia solanacea are propagated by cuttings of half matured wood with a bottom heat of 72° F. or by seed sown in late winter or early spring. Seed germinate in 14 - 28 days at 70° F.
Ardisia solanacea was featured as Plant of the Week September 21-27, 2001.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.