Copperleaf

Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Tricolor’

Photo/Illustration: 
Colleen Fitzpatrick
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Copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Tricolor’)
ak-ah-LY-fah wil-kes-ee-AY-nah
Genus:  Acalypha
This spreading shrub from tropical and subtropical regions can reach 6 feet tall. It is grown as a houseplant or as an annual outdoors where it's not hardy. Its oval leaves are splashed with red, green, and yellow and its long, fuzzy flowers are borne periodically throughout the year, although they are somewhat hidden. Acalypha wilkesiana 'Tricolor' can be grown in a warm greenhouse, in a border, or as a specimen or hedging plant (especially in warm areas).
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Multi-colored foliage; catkin-like flowers.
Care:  In the garden, this plant needs fertile, moist but well-drained soil that is rich in humus, and full sun or partial shade. Indoors, grow in a soilless mix in full or filtered light. Water freely during growth but moderately in winter.
Propagation:  Divide or root softwood cuttings in spring. Root semi-ripe cuttings in late summer using bottom heat.
Problems:  Indoors, scale insects, spider mites, whiteflies, and mealybugs may be problems. In the garden, downy mildew, powdery mildew, rust leaf spots, and fungal root rots can occur.

Overview

Height
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Spread
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Habit
Spreads
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Early Fall,
Fall,
Late Summer,
Summer
Flower Color
Green
Foliage Color
Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Hedge,
Indoor Plant,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Shrubs

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