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The Plant Guide

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Copperleaf

Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Tricolor’

ak-ah-LY-fah wil-kes-ee-AY-nah

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 CharacteristicsMulti-colored foliage; catkin-like flowers.

CareIn 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.

PropagationDivide or root softwood cuttings in spring. Root semi-ripe cuttings in late summer using bottom heat.

ProblemsIndoors, 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.

  • Genus : Acalypha
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Bloom Time : Early Fall, Fall, Late Summer, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Flower Color : Green
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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