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Nertera granadensis – caring for house plants

Written by Hilary on June 20th, 2006

I don’t know how many of you are familar with Netera granadensis or what some people call a “Bead Plant” but I don’t see them often enough to think of them as “Common.” That being said, I thought I would share my bead plant with you while it is showing its berries.

I like so many things about this plant it is hard to know where to start! First of all it has super neat, and compact foliage. When it’s not showing its white flowers or red fruit, it still is a very attractive plant. In fact when it is just green, it looks a lot like Baby’s Tears, or Soleirolia soleirolii.

It is easy to take care of, it likes bright light with some sun, but it likes it cool. Some people put their bead plant outside in the spring, in a sheltered spot with some sun and they leave it there until the berries form, then they bring it in the house.

I leave mine in the house year-round, in the coolest room, the kitchen where it gets bright light and filtered afternoon sun. If the room is too warm, it will grow fine, but not produce any berries.

Bead plants like to be kept moist, so I keep mine standing on a saucer of damp pebbles to keep the humidity up. Let the surface of the soil dry out a bit before rewatering.

To add humidity, you can also spray it daily from the time the flowers begin to open until the berries have formed, then just water as usual

They will produce small greenish white flowers in early summer, followed by long-lasting orange-red berries.

You can propagate them by division or take tip cuttings in the spring. If you can find it, you can grow them from seed.

Anyway, if you ever get the chance to get one, try a bead plant, I know you’ll love it!


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27 Comments so far ↓

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just purchased a bead plant today. Its awesome !! The article was helpful

  2. Hilary says:

    Awesome! I’m so glad you got a plant and found the information helpful. My bead plant is still covered in berries, that makes 3 months now.

    I know you’re going to love this plant!

  3. Anonymous says:

    thanks for the info just bought a nertera, the things a sick little dude. very helpful forsure

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just puchased a nertera and wonder how it would grow in a terrarium. Has anyone tried it?

  5. Safiyyah says:

    Hello There!

    I just bought a “bead plant” today, too. They were selling them in the plant section of the grocery store. With no care instructions, I might add. It is probably greenhouse forced because it is full of berries and looks just like the one in your post, but your article will help me to keep it going. Thanks.

  6. Hilary says:


    I have never tried Nertera in a terrarium.

    If you do try it, be very careful that the plant doesn’t get too hot in there.

    It will like the humidity, but bead plants like to stay cool and terrariums typically get quite warm, that’s why tropical plants do so well in them.

    Use a terrarium that has a removeable top to try and keep it cool.

    Good luck!


  7. Anonymous says:

    some of the berries of my nertera has begun to turn brown :( am I watering too much do you think?

    cheers from Istanbul

  8. Hilary says:


    I don’t know how much you are watering your bead plant, but over time, the berries will start to turn brown and die.

    That’s just a normal part of the plant’s growing cycle. They grow, flower, and form berries. Over time the berries will die off, then more green growth will occur and then the plant flowers once more.

    I doesn’t sound like you are watering too much since you didn’t mention that the foliage was brown and dying back too. If that was happening, and the entire plant was going brown, it would sound more like too much water, but I think you’re OK.

    Just make sure to allow the surface of the soil dry out a bit before watering again.

    Sounds like you’re doing everything right – keep up the good work!

  9. imherept says:

    Hi, I just bought a nertera plant and was looking on the net to find ideas on how to care for it. This post sounds good, more helpful and hopeful than most I’ve read.

    My plant came in a vase with care instructions that tell us to keep the plant in a saucer with half an inch of water. From what I’ve read here this might be too much water for the plant so I’ll try you way since you’ve had such good results!
    Thanks :)

  10. Hilary says:


    Yes you’ll have much better luck by following the above care comments than the instructions that came with your plant.

    No plant can thrive when sitting in water all day long, the roots can’t get enough oxygen and they’ll just rot and die.

    Roots need to dry out a bit between watering so they can breathe. This is true of most plants, except water or bog plants perhaps!

    Good luck.

  11. sally says:

    My son has just got me a 2 bead plants but they are in a small silver pots should i re pot as the pots do not have any drainage

  12. Hilary says:

    Hi Sally,

    What a great gift! If they were my plants, I would replant them.

    It's so easy for water to pool at the bottom of a container with no holes and drown the plant.

    And while bead plants do prefer to be moist, they do need to dry out a bit between waterings.

    Good question and enjoy your plants!

  13. Renata says:

    Is it true, that you can propagate Nertera from its beads? I've heard that when they die, you should remove them, dry them and crush and sow…
    I've had Nertera for two weeks, I think I watered it too much. The berries aren't smooth, they look like dried with brown sposts. I don't want to loose my plant :/

  14. Kathy Webb says:

    Hi Hilary,
    I have just bought 2 nertera plants and was pleased to find your page but I was surprised to see that you said they are orange-red berries as my centre had white, yellow and orange, will they all turn orange?


  15. Tiffany says:

    Thank you for such a helpful post.
    I bought two healthy small pots of this plant, one with white and yellow berries, the other with white and red-orange berries.
    I wanted to combine them and have them spread and grow together in some sort of a shallow, wide pot. I was planning on filling the wide pot with loose soil then adding everything from the two small pots in the center, and letting them expand and grow outward over time.
    Do you think that this would be successful as long as I cared for it properly? How would you go about letting them grow in a larger pot?

  16. Hilary says:

    Hi Renata,

    Yes, you can propagate beads plants from seed, you can also propagate them by division.

    You don't need to dry and crush the beads, just lightly cover the seed, plant them in soil that is 59 to 65 degrees F (15 to 18 degrees C).

    They will take around 14 to 28 days to germinate.

    You can also propagate Nertera by division in the spring around March – April.

    As for your berries looking dried, they may just be old. The berries eventually dry up as they age. It's just a natural part of the process.

  17. Hilary says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Actualy Nertera granadensis do come with different color "beads."

    They come with white, oranage, red, and yellow fruit and some have more than one color on on plant.

    If the fruit are white or yellow, they won't turn red or orange.

  18. Hilary says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    In regards to your question:

    Do you think that this would be successful as long as I cared for it properly?

    Yes I do. Bead plants grow and behave a lot like baby's tears and they will spread out and fill in, so you will be just fine.

    In regards to your question:
    How would you go about letting them grow in a larger pot?

    I would give them the same care and growing conditions as a plant in a smaller pot.

    The only difference is that a larger pot with more soil will stay wet longer, so becareful not to rot your plants. Make sure the soil you use drains really well.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I just purchased a bead plant.
    After I got it home I was wondering if the berries are poisonious. I have young grandchildren and want to know if the plant is safe.

  20. Hilary says:


    The berries on a bead plant are not poisonous. That said however, as with any plant, people can have different reactions to different things.

    If your grandchildren ate some of them by accident, I highly doubt they would get sick.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is a great article. I just bought mine yesterday at Trader Joe's. It's hot right now in Mpls. but they would get great light in my kitchen window. We do not have air conditioning. Where would you suggest I put it and How will I know I should water it again? Thanks, Sarah

  22. Hilary says:

    Hi Sarah,

    As stated above, bead plants like bright light with some sun, but they like cool temperatures.

    With no air conditioning in your home, I don't know how hot your house gets, so find a room in your house that is the coolest room, but where it gets plenty of bright light.

    If the room you put it in is too warm, it will grow fine, but not produce any berries.

    As for watering, wait until the surface dries out a bit first and then water. You can tell by touching the soil surface with your fingers if it has dried out a bit or not.

    Good luck!

  23. Carol Ross says:

    I just purchased two of these adorable plants today, and as with many adorable and seldom seen plants, I figured they would need more attention than the tag recommended. After reading up on the web about them, I was quite discouraged. Advice was quite variable. Hillary’s post was much more optomistic, so I will follow those directions and cross my fingers.

  24. Hilary says:

    Hi Carol,

    Don’t be discouraged! These are very straightforward plants to care for.

    I’ve had mine for years. Just follow the instructions give here and you’ll do great!

    Thanks for the comment.

  25. julie says:

    I purchased my little plant right before we went away on holiday. The florist said that it would love my bathroom. In hindsight, I do not think that was the best place for it. I also left it in 2cm of water, as the tag suggested. Again, perhaps not the thing to do. When I got home, my plant looked so sick. Brown shrivelled up leaves and definitely failing. What should I do? Can it be cut back to start again or do I just leave it and hope for the best.

  26. Kerri says:

    I cant find where to buy one of these plants. I looked all over the internet too. :(

  27. julie says:

    just got a bead plant as a birthday gift, read your great info, just wondered should you water it from the bottom or the top or does it not matter

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