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 CharacteristicsPurple-ruby foliage that is almost black. Performs well in high heat, where its color deepens and becomes richer. Easy to grow from seed.
CarePlant 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.
PropagationSow 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.
ProblemsGenerally trouble-free, but spider mites and Fusarium wilt may be problems.
- Genus : Alternanthera
- Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
- Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
- Plant Type : Annuals
- Uses : Containers, Ground Covers
- Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
- Moisture : Medium Moisture
- Growth Rate : Moderate
- Maintenance : Moderate
- Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
- Characteristics : Showy Foliage
- Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest