Nertera of Grenada
In room culture, soil protectors are far less loved than in garden, and they are less common. But on the other hand, all plants that have replaced the fertile soil of flower beds and colorful reliefs of rock gardens for small pots, are really unique stars. For the status of the brightest of indoor groundcover plants, Nerter Granada has been fighting for several decades. It is rare, but so beautiful that it is impossible to forget its appearance. It forms a lush and bright bush-pillow on which round beads of fruits seem to be generously scattered. No other indoor plant forms such a quantity of berries. Growing nerter is not so easy, but it is worth any effort.
Nertera - catchy little one with a cheerful character
Nerter - a plant amazingly spectacular. Bright, colorful and festive, she is all as if wrapped in a festive outfit. Some non-traditional practices even endow the nerter with magical properties, but it’s hard to say whether the nerter really increases activity and energy. But the fact that one type of pots with juicy greens and bright scattering of berries causes a smile - no doubt.
Nertera granadensis, which is known not by its species name as Grenada or Granada nertera, but under the popular nickname “coral berries” or “coral moss”, is a groundcover traditionally of small height. Lush pillows form long, flexible shoots that elegantly hang from the edges of the pot. In length, they are limited to a modest 20 cm, but are so densely arranged that they completely compensate for the modest size.
The greens of Nerter seem curly and smart, incomparably fun. The leaves are richly grassy, rounded, about 0.5 cm in length and width. And the height of the plant itself will never exceed 10 cm (and even then with very elongated specimens).
Nerter blooms in April and May, but it is not grown for the sake of ordinary-looking miniature flower stars. The main show of this crumb begins after flowering, when magnificent, perfectly round and glossy fruits begin to form, and then change color. They really seem to beads, coral, bright and extremely elegant. Charming beads on nerter bushes are kept from August to winter, while many elegant berries perfectly enliven the autumn and winter, rather boring interior.
And the change of color from white and cream to yellow and orange in various shades, and then to the “final” red, is impossible not to follow with an admiring look. Due to the fact that on the plant for several months the berries of a perfect different color flaunt, Nerter seems even more bizarre. In diameter, the berries reach 1 cm, and their distinguishing feature is not so much a bright color as a glossy reflection.
Despite their beauty and friendliness, seals contain toxic and irritating substances. So it is better to refuse the temptation to run your hand over a curly pillow and touch the berries. True, these plants are not so aggressive as to transplant them in enhanced protection mode.
Note: In addition to Granter nerter, on sale you can also find nerter pressed. Her main thing is the greenery, and the berries are only "piecewise" decorated with variegated bushes.
Caring for the Nerter of Grenada at home
Different strategies for growing nerter
Nerter Granada does not belong to room centenarians, it needs to be constantly updated and shared. And the conditions for the wintering of this crop should be specific, cool, and watering - plentiful, but unusual. But even such vagaries fully pay off with the beauty of Nerter. If you can give her special attention, nerter will become one of the most elegant plants in your collection.
Only experienced gardeners can grow nerter. After all, she will need not only a systematic approach to care, but also the ability to notice the needs of the plant and to react sensitively to the signals supplied by it. Due to the difficulty of ensuring proper wintering and a tendency to degenerate, it is easiest to grow nerter as a seasonal, annual plant.
Buying nerter with berries already formed at the very beginning of fruiting, it is grown until the last berry falls from the bush. And then they just throw it away. But if you have the opportunity to create the correct mode, be sure to use it: nerter is worth it to “play with” it.
Lighting, comfortable coral moss
Finding a place for Nerter in the house is easy. It will adapt well to a bright place (but without direct rays of the sun), and to any partial shade. So this culture can be used not only on window sills, but also in the brightest locations inside rooms as a touching and bright decoration. For example, a unique optimist looks wonderful on the kitchen or dining table, work table by the window. Even the largest pieces of furniture will be completely transformed in the company of this not so modest crumbs.
Changing lighting for nerter is not recommended even in winter. When moving to colder conditions, be sure to ensure that the plant receives enough light. If Nerter is used to diffused bright lighting, then in the cold season it is better to lighten the bushes. As a rule, the plant signals itself about the need to move to a new place or install fluorescent lamps by pulling, thinning branches, blanching leaves. At the first signs of impaired shoot growth, rearrange the nerter immediately.
Temperature conditions for nerter
The temperature regime for nerter during the entire warm season of the year cannot be called anything other than standard. Nertera feels great in the usual and room conditions for us - at temperatures from 18 to 22 degrees or slightly higher. But such loyalty does not apply to the cold season: from October to February, the Granter Nerter will need a completely different regime of detention.
This culture is moody enough for wintering. It is better to keep a small groundcover under rather cool conditions, about 8-10 degrees Celsius, while lowering the temperature should be combined with good air circulation.
No matter how fragile nerter seems, this plant is hardy and not afraid of drafts. In summer (or rather, from spring, as soon as the weather permits, and until the berries appear), the nerter can be taken out to fresh air and put it on balconies, terraces, and recreation areas. Of course, the bushes should be moved to fresh air before the groundcover blooms, and be sure to shade it from direct sunlight, winds and rainfall.
Watering and humidity
Watering Nerter is quite standard. The plant needs to create conditions under which the soil moisture will be medium and constant. But what exactly stands out in the Nerter is in the irrigation technique. This ground cover is strictly forbidden to water the classical method, when water is poured onto the substrate. Nerter is watered through trays, carrying out the following procedure only when the top layer of the substrate dries. Complete drying out or severe overmoistening should be avoided: they are equally dangerous for nerter.
Winter watering is directly dependent on temperature. But even if the Nerter was moved to cool conditions, then it is not worthwhile to allow the substrate to dry out, but it is better to regulate the frequency of watering according to the rate of evaporation of moisture from the soil.
Coral berries can only be watered with soft water, because it can’t stand the lime content. It is best to filter the water. Make sure that its temperature is equal to the temperature of the air in the room.
Loves coral moss and high humidity conditions. During the period of active vegetation, until the beginning of flowering, it is better for the nerter to regularly spray daily with the same water as the irrigation - soft and high-quality. As soon as the buds appear, the procedures must be stopped and not renewed until the very spring, because the accumulation of moisture does not tolerate not only Nerter flowers, but also its fruits. If you want to simplify the maintenance of the seal, instead of spraying, use trays with wet moss and pebbles, humidifiers.
Nerter has strict requirements for fertilizers. This groundcover does not tolerate an excess of nitrogen, so only mixtures of complex or mineral fertilizers with a high phosphorus content are chosen for it. But if your nerter is accustomed to the usual complex mixtures, feed them with them (check this information with the seller). Top dressing is applied only from March to September, with a frequency of 1 time per month, in the full dose recommended by the manufacturer. Since October, the plant is switched to winter mode without fertilizing.
Coral moss transplant
It is possible to transfer the beautiful Nerter to a new container immediately after fruiting and after a period of rest. Transplanting in February and March is considered preferable, especially if you are going to divide the plant. But it will perfectly tolerate nerter and a change in capacity immediately after the last fruit has fallen. It is very important not only to carefully handle the plant itself without injuring the sod and roots, but also not to compact, not to crush the substrate. For seals, it is imperative to lay fine-grained drainage at the bottom.
Substrate: light, sandy, with high permeability. In the mixture, the proportion of sand should be equal to or greater than the shares of sod, humus, leafy soil and peat.
Capacities for Nerter: This groundcover needs specific pots — wide but shallow, because the plant develops mostly horizontally.
Pests and diseases of nerter
Of the pests for Nerter of Granada, the aphid is the most dangerous. Nerter's bushes rarely get sick and with proper care will not cause trouble. The ubiquitous insects are best controlled with insecticides.
Reproduction of Nerter of Grenada
Nerter breeds very easily. Fluffy and smart pillows can be divided at each transplant, and other methods for this beauty can also be used.
Separation of the bushes is easy to carry out: like all groundcover, Nerter is perfectly divided by hand, without any adaptations. The main thing is not to divide the plant into too small parts - and you will certainly succeed. After planting the parts, you need to put the containers with them in a cool place and partial shade. Only after the completion of the adaptation process, the beginning of active rooting and growth can they be transferred to typical conditions of nerter.
Nerter seeds can be sown at the end of winter, in January-February in large and wide boxes with a high-quality substrate. They are not buried in the soil, but rarely laid out on it after wetting, sprinkled with a thin layer of earth and slightly compact the soil with a plank.
Immediately after sowing, it is necessary to spray and cover the containers with glass or film. Nerter seeds can germinate only after 1-3 months, and even then at a temperature of 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. Young plants need to be kept in a bright place with diffused lighting, providing uniform hydration and thorough care.