Genus: Acalypha

Acalypha

Photo/Illustration: 
Colleen Fitzpatrick
(Acalypha)
ak-ah-LY-fah
Euphorbiaceae
Acalypha is a large genus of about 430 species of shrubs, trees, and annuals from tropical and subtropical regions. They can be used outdoors in warmer areas or grown in a greenhouse or as houseplants. The genus includes the familiar chenille plant ( A. hispida ), often grown in hanging baskets, and A. wilkesiana , also known as copperleaf or Jacob's coat. Some species are grown for their foliage, which can be multi-colored, others are grown for their catkin-like racemes of flowers, which on some plants are large and vividly colored.
Noteworthy characteristics:  Evergreen plants grown for their decorative foliage and sometimes unusual-looking flowers.
Care:  Outdoors, plant in fertile, moist but well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, in sun or part shade. Indoors, grow in a soilless mix in full or filtered light. Water freely and fertilize monthly during the growing season, but water only moderately in winter.
Propagation: 

Divide rhizomatous or clump-forming species in spring. Root softwood cuttings in early spring, or semi-ripe cuttings in late summer, using bottom heat.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Acalypha

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Copperleaf
Acalypha wilkesiana
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Copperleaf
Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Tricolor’
Problems: 

Indoors, plants may be affected by scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies, and spider mites. Downy mildew, powdery mildew, rust, leaf spots, and fungal root rots occur in the garden.