Pernettya, beautiful in fall and winter

Pernettya berries, tiny dots of red in winter

Pernettya is a nice evergreen shrub that is remarkable in fall with its distinctive and elegant berries.

Premium Pernettya facts

NameGaultheria Syn. Pernettya
FamilyEricaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 6 to 8 inches (40 to 120 cm)
Exposure – part sun
Soil – heath soil

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – April-May

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Planting Pernettya

Pernettya is best planted in fall, but it is still perfectly possible to plant it in spring if you have purchased your plant in containers from the nursery.

  • Pernettya particularly appreciates lightly acidic soil and will thrive in heath soil.
  • Favor spots that are shaded over during the hottest hours of the day.

How to plant pernettya

  • To create a bed of Pernettya, place each plant about 40 inches (1 m) apart.
  • Fruit-bearing is increased if you alternate male and female plants.
  • Follow our advice on planting shrubs.

Potted Pernettya and garden boxes

Potted pernettyaPernettya is perfectly suited to being grown in pots for your terraces and balconies. It is also fine for heath soil shrub beds or as a stand-alone.

  • To grow Pernettya in pots, mix ⅓ soil mix with ⅔ heath soil, and check that the pot is well-drained with a hole at the bottom.
  • Water regularly in case of prolonged dry spells or heat waves.
  • You can also grow your Pernettya together with many plants described below.

Plants that grow well together with Pernettya

In flower beds or in pots, this shrub is often grown together with other plants.

The need for acidic well-drained soil and shade means Pernettya share the same growing conditions as heath plants like azalea, heath, camellia and rhododendron. In the pot above, for instance, Skimmia is to the left. It will grow taller, and the Pernettya will cover the lower level of the pot.

In fall, it is also very beautiful in garden boxes together with aster.

If you feel like a touch of lighter green is called for, pair them with boxwood that will also stay green all winter.

Finally, it is great to plant them with Convolvulus, silver ragwort or ornamental cabbage, either in the ground or in pots.

Pruning, watering, and caring for Pernettya

Pernettya are easy to care for and only require very little care.

  • Pernettya plants grow slowly.
  • It isn’t really necessary to prune them.
  • Pruning to adjust the silhouette can be performed in spring.

Pruning pernettya to shape it as a ground cover or other shape

Watering Pernettya

Caring for pernetty lets berries grow well and ripenWatering regularly in case of prolonged dry spell is called for, especially potted Pernettya.

In fall and winter, natural rainfall should be enough to cover the plant’s needs.

Learn more about Pernettya

Pernettya belongs to the large Ericaceae family. Native to Asia and the Americas, this shrub has adapted to European latitudes to provide the whole world with its beautiful colored berries in fall and winter.

But Pernettya is also outstanding in spring and summer thanks to its magnificent thick leafage and its more hidden blooms during summer.

Smart tip about Pernettya

Pernettya is a perfect shrub to add to your fall compositions.


Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: M’s
CC BY-NC 2.0: Arthur Chapman
Pixabay: Eukalyptus
Public Domain: madraban