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Japanese Ardisia, Marlberry
Ardisia japonica

Family: Myrsinaceae
Genus: Ardisia (ar-DIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)

Category:

Groundcovers

Perennials

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Evergreen

Shiny/Glossy-Textured

Leathery-Textured

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Wetumpka, Alabama

Paradise, California

Decatur, Georgia

Greenwell Springs, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Summerville, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Houston, Texas

Richmond, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
3
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Feb 14, 2014, bridgebaron from Chapel Hill, NC wrote:

Planted this in spring and loved it up until our freezing cold winter here in NC. All leaves have turned brown and I don't think it will come back. I have the variegated variety and I'm wondering if it's really suited to zone 7. It's a beautiful ground cover for a shady spot but maybe not in NC.

Neutral

On Jan 14, 2014, mmtoad13 from Pharr, TX wrote:

I just received this plant as a gift. It is sure taller then 12" and the florist said I couldn't put it outside and to keep the soil moist. I hope I can keep it alive. It is a very pretty plant

Positive

On Jan 22, 2010, islandms from Galveston, TX wrote:

Am growing this around an old live oak with filtered shade. It is slow to spread, but it made it through Hurricane Ike salt water, a long hot summer, and a couple of days in the 20s without a whimper. Lovely berries in December - February; nice thick shiny foliage. Stays under 12 inches high.

Positive

On Apr 3, 2007, marysgarden from Wetumpka, AL wrote:

Has spread very fast in my zone 7b garden. Very attractive groundcover in part shade. Problem with leaf spot for the first time this spring--will try fungicide.

Positive

On May 8, 2006, mmanman from Houston, TX wrote:

I use it as a ground cover surrounding pedestals of ivy and coleus. The plantings are under a very large live oak in partial to heavy shade. Subject to a leaf spot, controlled with a systemic fungicide.

Positive

On Jan 24, 2006, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

great groundcover but lordie it is the one of the slowest things I've ever grown. Berries in winter provide interest and yes, it looks sickly if exposed to full sun. Mine is planted in shade and does well, but lordie, it is slow!

Neutral

On Nov 11, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Excellant groundcover for shady areas; leaves yellow and subject to leaf spot in full sun. Spreads by underground runners, so the use of a thick layer of mulch aids in establishment. Displays red berries in the winter. Several varigated selections available.