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Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight' (Calico plant, Joy weed)

Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight' Photo/Illustration: Steve Aitken

(Based on 1 user review)

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Botanical Name: Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight' all-ter-NAN-ther-ah den-TAY-tah Common Name: Calico plant, Joy weed Genus: Alternanthera
This dark-leaved, tropical foliage plant loves heat, and is useful spreading through a bed, border, or in a container where its deep purple leaves can contrast with brightly colored flowers or foliage. Alternanthera are native to tropical and sub-tropical areas of Central and South America. Their flowers are generally an afterthought. This plant works well for edging, as an annual groundcover, or in a formal knot garden.
Noteworthy characteristics: Purple-ruby foliage that is almost black. Performs well in high heat, where its color deepens and becomes richer. Easy to grow from seed.
Care: Plant out after the frost-free date in moist but well-drained soil in full sun (for best color) or partial shade. Pinch or clip back to maintain compact form.
Propagation: Sow seed at 55°  to 64°F as soon as ripe, or in spring (seedlings may vary in color). Divide in spring. Take cuttings in late summer.
Problems: Generally trouble-free, but spider mites and Fusarium wilt may be problems.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit Spreads
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Moderate
Characteristics Showy Foliage
Foliage Color Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Uses Beds and Borders, Container, Ground Covers
Style Formal Garden
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest
Type Annuals,Tropicals

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