Coralberry Ardisia crispa

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Christmas berry


Ardisia crispa, commonly known as Coralberry, is an ornamental plant that stands out with its distinct features. The Coralberry displays a bushy structure with evergreen leaves that exhibit a glossy texture, which can bring a lush appearance to any garden setting. These leaves are generally oval, with pointed tips, and exhibit a dark green hue that provides a rich backdrop for its other features. One of the most captivating aspects of the Coralberry is its flowers. These blooms are quite small, usually comprised of star-shaped structures. They tend to cluster together in groups, creating a delicate and attractive floral display. The color of the flowers typically ranges from white to light pink, adding a gentle splash of color that contrasts nicely with the dark foliage. What truly sets the Coralberry apart are its signature berries. Following the flowering phase, the plant produces vivid coral-red berries. These berries are particularly eye-catching and can add a striking visual interest to the plant's appearance. The berries are typically round and can persist on the plant for an extended period, often through the winter months, which adds to the ornamental value of the Coralberry. Overall, the Coralberry's combination of shiny evergreen leaves, dainty flowers, and bright berries makes it an attractive option for gardeners and landscapers looking to add year-round interest to their plantings.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Coralberry, Coral Bush, Spiceberry, Hen's Eyes, Christmas Berry

    • Common names

      Ardisia crenata Sims, Ardisia crenulata C.Morren, Ardisia crispa var. crenata (Sims) Blume, Ardisia kotoensis Hayata, Ardisia sieboldii Miq., Bladhia crenata (Sims) Nakai, Bladhia crenulata (C.Morren) Nakai, Bladhia sieboldii (Miq.) Nakai, Icacorea crenulata (C.Morren) Kuntze, Tinus crenata (Sims) Kuntze.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Ardisia crispa, commonly known as Coralberry, contains saponins which can be toxic when ingested in large amounts. If parts of the Coralberry plant are ingested, it may cause gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. While it might not be severely toxic to humans, ingestion of significant quantities could lead to more serious symptoms, and medical attention should be sought.

    • To pets

      Like in humans, Ardisia crispa, or Coralberry, is also toxic to pets due to the presence of saponins. If pets ingest this plant, they could exhibit signs of gastrointestinal distress, which might include symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It's important to prevent pets from chewing on or ingesting parts of the Coralberry plant, and if ingestion occurs, a veterinarian should be consulted promptly to manage the symptoms.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves

      Dark green

    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-6 feet (0.3-1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      1-3 feet (0.3-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Southeast Asia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Ardisia crispa, commonly known as the Coralberry, has attractive foliage and berries that can enhance the visual appeal of gardens and indoor spaces.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The berries produced by the Coralberry plant are a source of food for various bird species, supporting local biodiversity.
    • Easy to Grow: Coralberry is known for being low-maintenance, which makes it suitable for both novice and experienced gardeners.
    • Shade Tolerance: This plant can thrive in shady areas where other plants may struggle, making it ideal for understory plantings and shaded gardens.
    • Erosion Control: The Coralberry can be useful for stabilizing soil and preventing erosion due to its spreading habit and dense root system.
    • Year-Round Interest: With its evergreen leaves and seasonal berries, the Coralberry provides visual interest throughout the year.
    • Cultural Significance: In some cultures, Coralberry plants are used in traditional events and ceremonies, contributing to the preservation of cultural practices.
    • Privacy Screen: When planted in a group, the dense growth of Coralberry can serve as a natural privacy screen for property borders.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Ardisia crispa has been traditionally used to reduce inflammation.
    • Antitumor: Some studies suggest that the plant may have properties that can help inhibit tumor growth.
    • Antioxidant: The plant may contain compounds with antioxidant effects that help in protecting the body from oxidative stress.
    • Antimicrobial: Extracts from this plant have been used to fight against certain microbial infections.
    • Astringent: Ardisia crispa is used traditionally for its astringent properties to treat gastrointestinal disorders.
    • Diuretic: Its diuretic effect is traditionally used to promote the excretion of urine.
    • Hepatoprotective: There is some evidence to suggest that the plant may offer some protection to the liver from certain types of damage.
    • Antidiarrheal: The plant has been used to treat diarrhea in traditional medicine.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Ornamental plant: Ardisia crispa, commonly known as Christmas berry, is often cultivated for its attractive glossy leaves and bright red berries, adding aesthetic appeal to gardens and landscapes.
    • Bonsai cultivation: Due to its small size and the shape of its foliage, Christmas berry can be trained into a bonsai for decorative purposes.
    • Festive decoration: The red berries of Christmas berry can be used as natural decorations during the holiday season, giving a festive look to wreaths and centerpieces.
    • Shade tolerance: Christmas berry can be planted in shaded areas of the garden, providing greenery in spots where other plants might not thrive.
    • Soil erosion control: The dense root system of Ardisia crispa can be utilized in landscaping to help prevent soil erosion, especially in sloped gardens.
    • Privacy screening: When planted in rows or hedges, Christmas berry can act as a natural privacy screen due to its bushy growth habit.
    • Crafts material: The branches and berries of Christmas berry can be incorporated into handmade crafts and DIY projects, such as natural jewelry or decorative items.
    • Insect habitat: The plant provides a natural habitat for certain insects, offering them shelter and a source of food, which can be beneficial for promoting local biodiversity.
    • Cultural significance: In some cultures, Christmas berry might be used in traditional ceremonies or as part of cultural rituals due to its distinct appearance.
    • Photography subject: The vivid contrast between the dark green leaves and bright red berries makes Christmas berry an interesting subject for nature photography.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Coralberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Ardisia crispa, commonly known as coralberry, is often associated with protection due to its dense foliage which is believed to shield against negative energies.
    • Luck: The bright berries of the coralberry are seen as symbols of good fortune and are sometimes carried as talismans or used in decorations to attract luck.
    • Prosperity: In some cultures, the vibrant appearance of the coralberry is connected with abundance and prosperity, reflecting a thriving nature and the potential for growth.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Coralberry prefers consistent moisture but does not like to be waterlogged. It should be watered thoroughly once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which usually means watering once a week. During the growing season, you might find the need to water slightly more frequently. Apply the water directly to the soil until it begins to drain from the bottom of the pot. It typically requires about 16 to 24 ounces of water during each watering session depending on the size of the pot and the room temperature.

  • sunLight

    The Coralberry thrives in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate partial shade. It should not be placed in direct sunlight as this can scorch the leaves. The ideal spot for a Coralberry is near a north or east-facing window where it receives plenty of light without the harsh rays of the sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Coralberry prefers temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It should not be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as it can cause damage to the plant. The ideal temperature range for active growth is around the upper part of the preferred temperatures, closer to 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Coralberry should be pruned to maintain its shape and to encourage bushier growth. Pruning is best done in the late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Cut back leggy stems and remove any dead or yellowing leaves to keep the plant healthy. Pruning can be done every year or as needed to control the plant's size.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Coralberry prefers well-draining, fertile soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. An ideal soil mix includes peat, pine bark, and perlite in equal parts to ensure good drainage and aeration.

  • plantRepotting

    Coralberry should be repotted every 2-3 years to prevent root bounding and to replenish the soil nutrients. Spring is the best time for repotting this plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The best humidity conditions for Coralberry are moderate to high, ideally between 40% and 60%. They thrive in environments that mimic their native tropical conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and maintain high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Partial shade, sheltered location, and moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of the Coralberry (Ardisia crispa) begins with seed germination, where the seeds require warm temperatures and consistent moisture to sprout. Seedlings emerge and grow into juvenile plants, developing a rosette of glossy, dark green leaves. As the Coralberry matures, it develops woody stems and may produce clusters of small, white to pinkish flowers, typically appearing at the leaf axils in summer. Following pollination, the flowers give way to bright red or coral-colored berries which persist into winter, providing a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife. These berries contain seeds that can be dispersed by animals, completing the reproductive cycle. Over time, the Coralberry plant may also spread vegetatively through root suckers, gradually forming dense thickets if left unchecked.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • For Ardisia crispa, commonly known as Coralberry or Hen's Eyes, the most popular method of propagation is through seed germination. To accomplish this, collect berries when they are ripe, which typically occurs in late summer or early fall. Gently clean the seeds by removing the fleshy fruit parts, which can inhibit germination due to the presence of growth inhibitors. The cleaned seeds can then be sown immediately as they do not require a period of dormancy. Plant the seeds in a well-draining soil mix, covering them with about a quarter inch (about 6 millimeters) of soil. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged and position the pot in a location with bright, indirect light. Germination can be slow and erratic, but you can expect sprouts to emerge in several weeks to a few months, whereby the seedlings can eventually be transplanted into individual pots or outdoor locations.