Nerteras are decorative creeping plants with pea-size orange-colored berries. Nertera Granadensis is the only species commonly grown indoors. The thin closely matted stems of this plant run along the surface of the potting mixture. The stems can grow up to 10 inches long. In early Summer it produces insignificant stalkless flowers. The flowers are tiny and greenish yellow and they give way to shiny, orange-red berries. These berries are fully developed by late Summer and remain on the plant for several months.
Water moderately, giving enough at each watering to make compost moist, but allowing the top half-inch of the mixture to dry out before watering again. Do not let the plant dry out completely not even during the rather short Winter rest period.
Apply standard liquid fertilizer once a month only during the few Summer months between the end of the flowering period and the time when berries are fully grown.
Nerteras are normally grown in 3-4 inch pots and they need never be moved into larger containers.
These plants are grown from seed but it is a slow process. Instead divide old plants that have lost their berries in Spring, setting 5 or 6 small clumps of stems around the edge of a 4 inch pan containing a combination of two-thirds of soil-based potting mixture and one-third of an equal parts mixture of peat moss and perlite.
Grow Nerteras in bright light, with at least 3 hours of direct sunlight everyday. They will flower and set fruit if kept in airy position. Ideally they should be kept outdoors throughout the months from late Spring until the berries have formed.
Nerteras grow fast in warm rooms and tend to produce too much foliage. To bear flowers and berries successfully they require high humidity. While they are kept indoor, stand the containers on trays or saucers of moist pebbles and spray plant lightly with water once a day from time that flowers begin to appear until all berries have fully developed.
The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 years ago.