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Alternanthera Genus

Joy weed

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General Needs

  • LightPart shade
  • HardinessFrost tender (min 5°C)
  • SoilWell drained
  • WaterMoist


Alternanthera genus (Joy weed). There are about 80 species in this genus mostly from warmer parts of the world. They consist of annuals and perennials (and a few aquatics). The bushy perennials usually have the leaves arranged in opposite pairs. The flowers are small and produced in dense clusters of off-white bracts that appear at the leaf nodes. Many are low sprawling or prostrate plants, with weak stems and simple leaves arranged in opposite pairs.


Annuals or Perennials, Shrubs or Herbaceous


C & S America

The name Alternanthera comes from the Latin alternus - alternate; and anthera - anther. This is reference to the fact the anthers are alternately bare.

Interest and use

Grown for their attractive, coloured foliage. Plants are useful for carpeting or bedding.


Frost tender, min 15-18C. Needs sun or partial shade and moist but well drained soil.


Propagate by tip cuttings or division in spring.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Red spider mites

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